HAR­MO­NIOUS RES­O­LU­TION

Har­mony work­ers resur­face af­ter il­le­gal sit-in at Kusasalethu mine near Car­letonville

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Siphelele Dludla

HAR­MONY Gold said on Fri­day it had safely re­turned to the sur­face all em­ploy­ees who had par­tic­i­pated in an il­le­gal un­der­ground sit-in at the Kusasalethu mine near Car­letonville.

On Thurs­day, about 1 700 em­ploy­ees par­tic­i­pated in an il­le­gal sit-in at the com­pany’s Kusasalethu mine.

The minework­ers chose not to re­turn to the sur­face at the end of the morn­ing shift on Wednes­day af­ter­noon.

For­mal de­mands from the work­ers were re­ceived only late on Thurs­day. These in­cluded the pay­ment of a spe­cial bonus, the re­moval of the general man­ager and an as­sur­ance that dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against them would not be pur­sued.

Af­ter sev­eral hours of ne­go­ti­a­tions, 18 em­ploy­ees were evac­u­ated to the sur­face as a re­sult of ill-health. Some min­ers were re­ported to have dis­played symp­toms of se­vere fa­tigue and

We are pleased a res­o­lu­tion has been reached and all em­ploy­ees re­turned to the sur­face safely

de­hy­dra­tion, and were treated by Har­mony’s med­i­cal per­son­nel.

Their fam­i­lies were camp­ing out­side the mine try­ing to urge them to end their il­le­gal sit-in.

Har­mony Gold said all em­ploy­ees re­turned to the sur­face shortly be­fore mid­night on Thurs­day af­ter talks be­tween management and union lead­er­ship.

The gold mine said a thor­ough in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the il­le­gal sit-in, which lasted nearly 48 hours, would be con­ducted and pro­duc­tion at the mine was to pro­ceed over the week­end.

Har­mony’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Steenkamp said: “We are pleased a res­o­lu­tion has been reached and all our em­ploy­ees have re­turned to the sur­face safely.”

The Na­tional Union of Minework­ers, the lead­ing union in the gold sec­tor, had said on Thurs­day it was also in the dark about the Kusasalethu work­ers’ de­mands but was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter. The As­so­ci­a­tion of Minework­ers and Con­struc­tion Union (Amcu) said it took part in the dis­cus­sions with mine management. Amcu said com­mit­ments to pay bonuses were made to the work­ers.

FILE PHOTO: SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI

Har­mony’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Steenkamp.

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