NUM continues strike at Petra’s Finsch mine, to down tools at Koffiefontein after wage deadlock

21st September 2017 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

JOHANNESBURG ( – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has issued Petra Diamonds with a 48-hour notice for a planned, protected strike at the Koffiefontein mine, in Northern Cape.

The union on Thursday said it would withdraw all members from the mine, starting on Saturday morning, until Petra accedes to the union's demands.

On Monday, workers at the Finsch mine, in the Northern Cape, downed tools in a strike that resulted in 67 members staging an ongoing sit-in underground after the parties reached an impasse over wages and other related matters.

“There are some members who are still underground since Monday. The members felt that if the company does not meet their demands they will remain underground,” said NUM Finsch mine deputy branch secretary Tebogo Kgomongwe.

Employees at Petra's Ekapa Mining joint venture have also gone on strike.

NUM is demanding a 10% a year increase in wages across the board for the next three years, along with equal job value, a housing subsidy and living-out allowance of R1 500, and an increase in the employer’s contribution to the pension fund from 7.5% to 9%.

Further, the union is requesting an increase of R1 000 for employees belonging to the in-house medical aid scheme and a 100% medical aid subsidy to employees who do not belong to the in-house medical aid scheme.

Other demands include the increase of family responsibility leave from three days to five – four of which must be fully paid and one unpaid – as well as an increase in annual leave days from 19 days to 21 days for Petra’s Ekapa and Koffiefontein operations.

NUM also demanded long service awards that will see employees being paid R5 000 for ten years of service, R15 000 for 20 years and R35 000 for 25 years.