Sibanye-Stillwater’s legal attempt to have a court declare unprotected a month-long strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and force its members back to work suffered a setback on Friday. Labour court Judge Edwin Tlhotlhalemaje found he could not entirely rely on the company’s statistics backing its contention that three other unions, which had signed a wage agreement at Sibanye’s gold mines, had secured a 51% majority representation. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) would have to verify memberships of the four unions at Sibanye’s gold division, which is the largest source of South African gold, and report back to the court no later than January 7. The ruling dashed Sibanye’s hopes of having the strike declared unprotected and so compel Amcu’s 15,000 members back to work after the union called on its members to down tools on November 21, in what has been a violent strike in which Sibanye says three people have been kil...

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