‘We are not involved,’ Nkomati Mine tells sub-contractor’s striking workers

DISPUTE: Workers belonging to JCI Mining are still on strike for fair wages and medical aids - PICTURE BY eNCA

A letter sent by a giant mining company to striking workers belonging to a sub-contractor in Mpumalanga has showed that the company does not intend to intervene in the wage dispute between the sub-contractor and the workers under him.

013NEWS on Thursday saw the letter, titled ‘A response for the 6th September 2016’, and in it Nkomati Mine general manager Bertina Symonds tells striking JCI Mining workers that their issues will be solved but not through Nkomati Mine.

Caption - Nkomati general manager Bertina Symonds. PICTURE supplied
Caption – Nkomati general manager Bertina Symonds. PICTURE supplied

The Nkomati Mine does nickel mining between Badplaas and Machardodorp in Mpumalanga and employs the Aveng Moolmans mining group as the main contractor and JCI Mining as Aveng Moolmans’s sub-contractor.

Close to a hundred JCI Mining workers had previously asked Avenge Moolmans bosses to speak to JCI bosses concerning “unfair wages” but according to the workers the main contractor had since refused, saying they were not involved.

On Monday morning this week workers downed tools and put five demands on JCI’s table, which among them included medical aid, a 10% increase and production bonuses.

They then demanded Nkomati Mine to intervene after CCMA granted them a certificate to toy-toy.

But in the letter, Nkomati Mine says they will also not be involved.

“You have my commitment that your concerns are being taken seriously and I remain committed to the process of ensuring commitment.

“However, Nkomati cannot and doesn’t intend to become involved in either current or future wage negotiations on behalf of any company operating at Nkomati,” the general manager said in the letter.

Symonds said this didn’t mean workers should not continue to fight.

“Nkomati will co-ordinate a process of reviewing a process of machine operators working at Nkomati,” she said.

Workers are complaining that they are given R26 an hour for driving the bigger dumptruck called B40 and others, “on the condition of favouritism”, were getting a R39 an hour for the smaller B35 dumper and have demanded an equal pay for equal work at the mine before they accept a 10% offered by JCI Mining this week.

“The objective of the review is to determine how pay levels compare, for different workers of the same or similar machine and ensure fairness,” said Symonds.

Nkomati is owned by Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Mineral and Russia’s Norilsk Nickel mining company and employed Aveng Moolmans in 2014 to do the work.

(edited by ZK)

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