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Koffiefontein miners join Petra strike

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The strike will be in the form of a total withdrawal of labour of all NUM members working in Petra Diamonds at Koffiefontein Mine

SOLIDARITY: Co-workers of the miners who voluntarily stayed underground recently.

Workers from Petra Diamonds’ Koffiefontein Mine will be joining their colleagues, the Northern Cape, in a protected strike this weekend.

In a statement, released by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday, it was announced that the union had served Petra Diamonds with a 48 hour notice to embark on a protected strike, at the Free State mine, amidst labour disputes at various operations in the Northern Cape.

“The strike will be in the form of a total withdrawal of labour of all NUM members working in Petra Diamonds at Koffiefontein Mine,”said NUM Deputy General Secretary, William Mabapa.

“It will commence tomorrow (Saturday), starting with the morning shift at 6am and will include every shift that follows thereafter.

“It will continue indefinitely until the NUM demands are met.”

Demands include a 10% wage increase, across the board, to be paid every month for three years, along with a monthly housing subsidy and living out allowance of R1 500.

“We are calling for an increase of R1 000 be paid to all employees who are part of the in-house medical aid scheme and 100% medical aid subsidy to employees who do not belong to the in-house medical aid scheme,” Mabapa said.

“We are also demanding that family responsibility leave be increased from three to five days. Four days must be fully paid and one unpaid.”

Increase

The miners have also called for an increase in annnual leave days from 19 to 21 days and that the pension fund must be increased from 7,5% to 9% per employer’s contribution.

An agreement to end the sit-in at Finsch, Wesselton and Joint Shaft, reached between Petra and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), saw more than a hundred miners resurface on Tuesday evening, after having voluntarily stayed underground at the Wesselton Mine and Joint Shaft, in protest, when their shifts ended on Saturday morning.

Their colleagues at Finsch joined the mass action when their shift ended in Lime Acres, on Tuesday morning.

However, on Wednesday, Petra spokesperson, Gert Klopper, said that wage negotiations, to end the protected strike, would only continue on Tuesday, next week.