Gold Fields improves severance terms at South Deep in bid to end strike
Union sources say the national leadership wants to resolve the strike but branch leaders are digging in
Gold Fields has offered union members striking at its South Deep mine an increased severance package in an attempt to resolve the dispute that has halted production. Gold Fields, which employs about 3,600 people in SA, said in August it will restructure its South Deep operations and cut about 1,100 jobs, nearly a third of the workforce, to save money. In response, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) went on strike at the mine on November 2. South Deep, the company’s last SA asset, has lost money over the past five years and Gold Fields has been working to mechanise operations in the face of challenging geology 3km below the surface. The company said on Wednesday that its offer, which expires on Friday, includes increasing severance payments by four weeks, or a total of as much as R45m, funding for skills training and preferential re-employment if positions become available. CEO Nick Holland defended the plan to cut jobs after mining minister Gwede Mantashe criticised Gold Fields...