“Workers at one of our mines in South Africa, at Kopanang mine, have gone on strike. It started last night and is continuing today,” spokesman Alan Fine told AFP, adding that no demands had been forwarded to the management as yet.
The mine, situated near the town of Orkney around 180 kilometres (around 110 miles) southwest of Johannesburg, employs around 5,000 workers and represents nearly a fifth of the company’s production in South Africa.
Wildcat work stoppages in the mining sector appear to be escalating just as a deadly six-week strike at a London-listed Lonmin’s Marikana plant, the first such stoppage, ended on Thursday after workers won pay hikes of between 11-22 percent.
A strike at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) — on the platinum belt of Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg — which started last week was still underway on Friday despite an ultimatim for the workers to return to work by end of the day Thursday.
Workers said they would remain at home until their wage demands were met.
“The strike is still continuing. There is no-one at those shafts,” Gaddhafi Mdoda, a worker representative at Amplats told AFP.
He dismissed threats by their employer to sack them as they defied the Thursday ultimatum.
“I dont think it would be wise for them to fire everybody. As I am talking to you, no-one has reported for work,” he said.
Lonmin workers returned to work on Thursday after a deal was brokered to end their crippling strike, during which 46 people died, which spurred knock-on protests at other gold and platinum mines.