Workers to Walk Out of SA GoldOne Mine on Wednesday After Three-Day 'Sit-In', AMCU Says
13:30 25.10.2023 (Updated: 16:25 25.10.2023)
© AP Photo / Themba HadebeIn this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, journalists mix with mine workers while on a tour to the South Deep gold mine south of Johannesburg.
© AP Photo / Themba Hadebe
More than 500 miners have been trapped underground since Sunday night at the GoldOne-East Modderfontein mine in Springs, a town in the Gauteng province of South Africa.
Several hundred miners who have remained in South Africa's GoldOne Mine for three days will return to the surface on October 25 afternoon, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said as cited by the media.
Earlier on Wednesday, about 200 of GoldOne-East Modderfontein mine workers escaped from what is described as an underground hostage situation, the management of the mine said as cited by South African media.
"We are getting reports now from the 200 or so employees that have come up. Most of them are very tired, dehydrated, fatigued, so we're not keeping them here any longer than we need to but a few of them are providing statements and they are willing to talk to us," said Ziyaad Hassam, the mine's head of legal.
According to him, several miners were staging a sit-in underground while most were being held forcedly by workers affiliated with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
At least 543 workers have been underground since their Sunday shift due to a tense labor dispute between two unions, AMCU and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), regarding organizing rights at the gold mine.
There are differing accounts about the event. The NUM union affirmed that the workers were being held captive by the opposing AMCU, which denied this, claiming it was a planned sit-in for workers' organizing rights.