President Joseph Mathunjwa and the national organiser Dumisani Nkalitshane made their way to Sibanye Gold – Beatrix Mine in Welkom, Frees State to address our members on Thursday.
Our members waited anxiously to hear what our President had to say.
During the wage negotiations there is only one union that was negotiating against the Chamber of Mines.
When I say the Chamber of mines I am referring to UASA, Solidarity, NUM and the mining companies. There was only one union that was negotiating on behalf of the workers and that is AMCU.
There is one thing that we have to understand, now that they have signed the agreement that we fought long and hard for; Sibanye now thinks that it is clever.
They assumed just because the other unions had signed that we would feel pressured to sign too, but to their surprise we didn’t.
We have our certificates in hand and if we really wanted to we could stop all operations of Sibanye Gold and embark on a strike.
But what we should understand is that if we want to embark on this journey of ours we would be giving Neal Froneman, Executive Director and CEO of Sibanye Gold, what he wants. We need to show our strength and pride.
We are the majority union even if they chose to deny it.
Now that they have signed with the minority extension we need to consider the timing of when will strike.
Froneman cannot decide for us. At this moment in time we are holding him back. If it was up to him we should have started striking last week. I bet they are furious because we did not react as they had initially anticipated.
We have injured their agenda and timing. Let’s prove that we are can think because in their minds, once AMCU has attained a certificate in 48hours, they run off and strike.
Froneman has probably already told the investors that in November/ December AMCU will be striking.
He has probably already formulated his costing and is confident that he will be saving money at our strike’s expense he won’t be paying any salaries. But naturally during those times production is slow because workers are fatigued and tired so let us use this to our advantage.
Froneman will soon realise that he underestimated us. Let us be safety cautious this December, take it slow and easy and question the safety measures. We cannot embark on a strike when we have bills to pay and families to feed. Our children also depend on us to them to school.
When we get home over the holidays our families need to see that we are fit, healthy and strong.
We cannot risk our lives in December. When we die these mine owners do not care. They do not know the conditions we live under or the circumstances that our families are left to face when once we are gone.
The money that is meant to be coming to you as workers is used by Froneman to buy Platinum Mines. Sibanye should be offering an increase way better than Harmony Gold and Anglo Gold Ash anti.
Instead Froneman is buying mines to extend exploitation of the working class not create job opportunities. When we decide strike we have to ensure that it will work in our favour. We will not be told what to do, when to do it and how.
It’s no one’s business when we will strike. It our business as the union to decide.