South Africa Labor Court Dismisses Union's Gold Strike Appeal

  • Case relates to AMCU dispute during 2013 wage negotiations
  • AMCU argued it should get strike permission at certain mines

South Africa’s Labour Court dismissed an appeal by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union relating to a dispute during 2013 wage negotiations, according to the Chamber of Mines, which represents mining companies.

The court agreed with AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Harmony Gold Mining Co. and Sibanye Gold Ltd. that unions could only embark on a legal strike if they represented the majority of employees at the companies, the Chamber said Thursday in a statement. AMCU had argued they should be allowed to strike if they were the majority at individual mines.

AMCU still has a strike certificate at Sibanye, obtained during 2015 wage negotiations. The union previously said it would wait until the 2013 case was resolved before deciding on whether it should strike. Manzini Zungu, a spokesman for AMCU, said the union will make a statement after it has studied the judgment.

The dispute arose after AMCU gained members in South Africa’s gold industry in 2013 following its success in becoming the majority union across the platinum sector, displacing the National Union of Mineworkers.

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