The December 6 dismissal followed an unprotected strike action by National Union of Mineworkers employees who were protesting against the suspension of four colleagues alleged to have breached picketing rules in a previous strike at the mine.
The strike and subsequent firing of miners led to a nine-day shutdown of three of Mooiplaats’ five underground work areas. The fired miners represent 48% of the mine’s workforce.
Conditions of the reinstatement require that there be no pay for the nine days of missed work, all pending disciplinary cases will follow due process and all employees will receive final written warning letters not to participate in unprocedural industrial action.
NUM agreed to fully participate in requirements of South Africa’s labor relations legislation which pertain to dismissals based on operational requirements by employers and to consult with Coal of Africa on any future press contacts regarding the issue.
The union said it would provide the company with a training matrix on labor law and labor relations practices and to train representatives at a local branch in the next three months.
NUM also said it would replace its regional representative in the four contested suspension cases.
An investigation will be conducted by a human resources expert in the first quarter of 2013 to determine the factors which led to the strike.