Wildcat strike in South African mines

Workers at the Everest mine in South Africa have gone on wildcat strike about health and safety issues.

Submitted by Ed on June 8, 2008

On 28 May, 42 load-haul-dumper operators stopped unprotected work at the Everest mine, and the rest of the underground workforce, numbering around 1,300 employees, stopped work in sympathy the following day.

Following discussions with South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers, the striking workers were served notice under the terms of the South African Labour Relations Act to return to work on Monday, 2 June. The notice was backed up by a Labour Court interdict.

The company claimed it is committed to sorting out the issues that sparked the dispute.

In the interests of preventing future wildcat strikes it has started a process whereby employees will be educated on the process of industrial engagement in line with South Africa's labour relations regime. The company said the training was necessary because a large proportion of employees were relatively new to the company and unfamiliar with the collective bargaining process.