The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is playing a high-stakes poker game with the steely Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman and the ultimate losers are the 32,200 employees at the company’s gold mines. Amcu has called a year-end strike at Sibanye’s three large gold mines and supporting structures by its 15,000 members at a time when the mines are coming out of a very difficult first six months of 2018 during which 21 employees were killed in various incidents. The operational recovery started slowly in the third quarter, but the wage strike called by Amcu to force through its demands that it first tabled in July when talks started is derailing any progress the company saw at its embattled gold mines. The timing of the strike is peculiar, coming as it does at the end of the year when underground workers push hard to secure their bonuses. Why Amcu would jeopardise their members’ bonuses and by extension negatively affect their families is unclear. From some a...

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