Sibanye Gold halts production at one of its mines as union rivalry leaves several workers injured

by , 06 February 2015

Gold producer, Sibanye Gold has had to halt production at its Beatrix mine near Welkom. This is down to the breakout of a fight between workers of different unions.

This happened yesterday afternoon. The company took action in a bid to prevent further injuries and to allow some sort of reconciliation to take place between the two parties.

Let's take a closer look at what's going on…


Nine workers sustained injuries following a fight at Sibanye Gold


Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] has halted production “at its Beatrix after nine workers were injured,” says IOL. This follows a fight between members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

The incident happened yesterday afternoon, notes BDLive. The gold producer says it “decided to suspend operations at Beatrix North and South shafts while it attempts to restore calm and peacefully reintegrate the rival groups”.

A number of members of the AMCU “are still camping outside Sibanye Gold’s Beatrix mine shaft,” reports the SABC. They claim that they’re not allowed to enter the mine “to prevent further confrontations with [the] NUM”.


Many workers are moving from the NUM to the AMCU as their representative worker’s union


Over the past couple of years, the NUM has seen thousands of its members join the “AMCU in the platinum belt,” says IOL. The NUM is now “struggling to hold on to its members” as many opt to move to the AMCU.

The fight resulted as the AMCU “held a mass meeting to get a mandate from its members for it to sign the minority recognition agreement,” adds BDLive. Sibanye Gold says the union now has the “minimum threshold for minority recognition status at Beatrix”.

At time of writing, shares in Sibanye Gold were trading 2.7% lower at R30.30.

Time will tell how quickly the tensions ebb and Sibanye Gold can resume production at its mine.

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