Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng has vehemently criticized the abrupt dismissal of 401 workers and the suspension of 140 employees by Gold One Mine, Modder East, in Gauteng, terming it as hasty, unwarranted, and unjustified.

EFF Gauteng chairperson Nkululeko Dunga denounced the move, viewing it as an attempt to hastily resolve a prolonged dispute. The dismissals and suspensions follow protests and sit-ins by mine workers, who raised concerns related to recognition rights for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the challenge to a closed-shop agreement signed between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the company.

The mine workers staged sit-ins in October and December, with these actions being labeled as hostage situations by authorities and the mine. Dunga expressed concern over the perceived arrogance of mining companies, including Gold One Mine, accusing them of exploiting workers with the tacit approval of labor unions and the collaborative ANC government.

Gold One Mine contends that the dismissals were unavoidable due to the miners’ actions during the sit-ins, which allegedly contravened the company’s code of conduct and violated interdicts against illegal strike action. The NUM has pledged to appeal and challenge the dismissals.

The EFF condemned the dismissals as “illegal and undemocratic” and called for the reinstatement of the affected workers. Dunga emphasized that workers have the right to organize and associate with a union of their choice, and their dismissal without due disciplinary process is unacceptable. The EFF leadership has committed to engaging with all parties involved to seek a resolution that does not entail the expulsion of over 400 workers in the current challenging economic climate.

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