‘Mineworkers will not compromise’
A MEETING this morning between Petra Diamonds and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), to be mediated by the CCMA, could bring an ongoing strike to an end, but only if mine management give in to the key demands of the union.
This is according to NUM’s deputy national president, Joseph Montisetsi, who said yesterday that workers were not willing to compromise in the labour dispute.
Montisetsi visited Finsch and Koffiefontein mines yesterday, where he addressed workers and evaluated the current situation at the two Petra operations.
“Our demands include a 10 percent wage increase along with R1 500 allowances for living and housing respectively,” Montisetsi said yesterday afternoon. “These demands are non-negotiable and until they are met the strike continues.”
Montisetsi added that the union would be meeting with Petra management this morning in the hopes of finding a resolution to the current stalemate.
“We were unable to meet with mine management during our visit but an interaction is scheduled for tomorrow (today).
“This engagement is going to be mediated by the CCMA who will be hoping that we will reach a compromise. We will just have to wait and see what comes out of this meeting.”
Meanwhile, Petra spokesperson, Gert Klopper, said yesterday that while an agreement was yet to be reached between workers and management, mining continued at Petra’s sites in the Province.
“The strike continues at KEM-JV, Finsch and Koffiefontein,” Klopper said. “Production at all operations is continuing with available resources.”
Klopper added that Petra was aware of the visit by the union’s leadership to their operation in Koffiefontein but had not had any engagements with the NUM representatives.
“We were informally notified that the deputy president of NUM would address the members but no specific engagement with the company has been arranged.
“The company remains committed to discussions with NUM to find a solution to the current deadlock with regards to salary negotiations.”