The law has favoured the working class after a ruling was given by the High Court on Friday June 24, 2016, to allow workers and families who’ve been affected by Silicosis and Tuberculosis to file a class action suit against gold companies.
Since the 1960’s both TB and Silicosis have claimed thousands of lives in the mining sector with very little accountability from the mining companies. An alarming number of employees with Silicosis have been dismissed from work because of their health status, leaving them stranded without much financial compensation to help treat the disease or provide for their families.
This is the first step in the right direction to hold the employer accountable for the inhumane conditions that miners work under, along with bringing the issue of health and safety to the fore.
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has been waiting anxiously for this day to arrive; as we have seen the pain and suffering of our members and how the COIDA /OHS and ODIMA Act were preventing miners from suing the employers.
This is the largest class action to ever be granted in South Africa, allowing hundreds of thousands of gold miners and their families an opportunity at justice and further scrutiny on health and safety issues in the industry.
The recognition by the court to regard this as a Class Action is yet another victory for AMCU and we will continue our support for our members until justice is served.
Issued by AMCU
Download the full statement here.