Miners stage sit-in at Rustenburg mine

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Two hundred and eighty mineworkers at Bakubung Platinum Mine in Ledig, Rustenburg in the North West, have staged a sit-in underground.

The workers did not surface after their shift on Wednesday morning. Workers are disgruntled over unresolved complaints they have been voicing for months. Among them is the mine’s alleged intention to retrench more than 500 workers, allegations of terminated contracts of pregnant female mineworkers, as well as the mine’s refusal to adhere to the CCMA’s recommendations on the July unprotected strike.

The National Union of Mine Workers regional chairperson, Joel Sefali, elaborates, “There is a sit-in underground with 280 employees who are raising the grievance that the management of Bakubung does not want to comply with the CCMA that the employee representative and management must sit down and resolve issues of the workers who went on an unprotected strike for a period of a month. Bakubung has a policy for women that says that once you get pregnant, your contract will be terminated.”

Sefali says the union has been trying to engage mine management with no success.

The union has tried to speak with management about the issues and the demands of the workers but the management is not willing to resolve these issues. In the memo, it says he will only engage with the workers on the 12th of December and the workers who are seated underground are saying that date is too far because that letter is urgent.”