Unprotected strike action at Northam Platinum mine

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is continuing with unprotected strike action at the Northam Platinum Mine near Thabazimbi, in spite of broad acceptance by the union of management proposals tabled at a meeting between the parties yesterday, Wednesday 2 May 2007.

A total of 5 500 employees began the unprotected work stoppage at the start of the night shift on Sunday (29 April 2007).

The unprotected action is related primarily to a demand by the NUM for the relocation of Northam’s Chief Executive Officer from the mine to the company’s corporate office in Johannesburg and the removal of two mine industrial relations department officials.

Yesterday’s proposals from management included:

  • the immediate appointment of an agreed independent mediator to conduct a full audit of the mine industrial relations structures, procedures and processes and to make recommendations;
  • the immediate institution of an independently facilitated Relationship By Objectives (RBO) process to improve relationships; and
  • the immediate appointment of an employee relations manager, similarly to improve relationships.

The NUM and striking workers have been advised that the strike action is unprotected. They have been informed by management that the ‘no work, no pay’ rule will apply and that the company reserves its rights to seek relief from the South African courts of law.

So far, loss of revenue due to the unprotected strike action is estimated to be R24 million.


James Duncan
Tel: 011 880 3924
Mobile: 082 892 8052

Marion Brower
Tel: 011 880 3924
Mobile: 082 895 0698