Looming strike at De Beers’ Venetia mine: NUM

The NUM can confirm that the four-month-long wage negotiations with the world’s leading diamond company De Beers have collapsed and a dispute has been declared at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The NUM is currently involved in a mobilisation process amongst its more than 1,500 members, preparing them for a protected indefinite strike. NUM members are demanding a wage increase of 9% while De Beers is offering workers only 6%. 

We have made several movements during our negotiations with the company. We moved from 25% to 12% and now 9%. Members have mandated that we should not move from anything less than 9%. The status quo of neoliberalism and austerity continues to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The arrogance of De Beers does not only undermine mineworkers but the country in its entirety.

To add salt to the wound, De Beers went all out to increase the salaries of the already stomach-bloated senior managers by 6%. As the NUM we are very much convinced that De Beers is not a poor company and that it could afford workers’ demands. From the onset of the wage negotiations, De Beers negotiators have been negotiating in bad faith. This deadlock over wage increases deserves a solid response from workers until De Beers takes seriously the demands of the workers.

We cannot allow bosses to make workers suffer for a crisis that is not of their own doing. The private sector is benefitting from government interventions and bailouts while the poor workers suffocate from the government-imposed austerity measures. Food prices, fuel prices and general inflation had sky-rocketed.

There is just no room for peanuts to increase and for that, we are prepared for war. It is going to be the mother of all strikes. The NUM is currently finalising picketing rules with the CCMA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *