Amcu’s deadly strike a poorly timed strategy
The timing of Amcu’s wage strike, which has resulted in at least one death, has raised questions whether the union intended to derail Sibanye’s takeover of Lonmin
In what was probably the least surprising development in the mining industry in 2018, the strike called by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mines has resulted in violence and a death. With 32,200 employees at the company's three gold mines and related businesses preparing for the year-end, a time when bonuses are carefully nurtured to take home, it was bound to be a bad idea to call a wage strike. Not only that, but the three other unions at the gold mines had already signed a wage deal, but Amcu, with a 43% representation of workers, refused to participate in the agreement and has called its members out on a strike to demand a R1,000 a month wage increase compared to the R700 to R825 per month settled with the other unions. The timing of the strike has raised questions, particularly because it was called at a time when Sibanye’s all-share takeover of Lonmin was decided by the Competition Tribunal and approved. While Amcu pres...