JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Around 1 700 workers at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine, in Carletonville, have staged an illegal sit-in underground, with no demands or grievances yet forthcoming.
Harmony Gold on Thursday said the employees had refused to return to surface on Wednesday after the end of the morning shift, with no indications as to the issues they were protesting.
The senior leadership of the operation’s majority union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), are currently on site negotiating the employees demands, with some progress seemingly being made.
AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa told Mining Weekly Online that the workers have indicated their displeasure over an alleged promised bonus that had not materialised; however, Harmony Gold could not be drawn on the matter, with a spokesperson assuring that this was among several varying versions of speculation that could not be confirmed until the workers voiced their grievances.
Meanwhile, discussions continued, with Harmony in ongoing contact with their employees underground and the unions’ branch and national leadership representatives.
National Union of Mineworkers national spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the union was still trying to investigate whether any of its members were involved in the sit-in.
The company has sent food and water down to the workers and has halted all operations at the mine to ensure the safety and health of the workers.
The mine produces around 10 kg to 15 kg of gold a day.