Gold One mine workers strike again over union recognition

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Hundreds of workers at Gold One mine east of Johannesburg have embarked on a strike demanding the employer to expedite the balloting process for the new majority union.

A portion of the workforce at the mine is advocating for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to be recognized as the majority union, replacing the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which currently holds the majority status.

In October 2023, over 500 Gold One mine workers engaged in an underground sit-in to pressure management to grant AMCU majority union status. This action prompted mine management to obtain an interdict prohibiting workers from engaging in illegal strike action or any conduct involving the detention of employees.

Patrick Phokoje, a Gold One miner, explained the reasons behind the renewed strike, stating: “We are striking again because Gold One does not want to conduct a ballot but what it’s doing is busy suspending workers and then it’s delaying us as we sent a petition to say please conduct a ballot urgently.”

Phokoje further elaborated: “What they do, is they are busy suspending workers and other workers are still at home. That is why we strike again. We are tired, Gold One is busy playing with us and still playing with the workers.”

The ongoing strike highlights the unresolved tension between workers advocating for AMCU’s recognition as the majority union and mine management’s reluctance to expedite the balloting process.

VIDEO | AMCU members staged a sit-in at Gold One Mine in October, deny hostage claims: