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Court bans strike at South Africa’s gold mines

South Africa's platinum mine workers stage a protest after they rejected a fresh wage offer at a public meeting in Marikana on January 30, 2014/AFP

South Africa’s platinum mine workers stage a protest after they rejected a fresh wage offer at a public meeting in Marikana on January 30, 2014/AFP

JOHANNESBURG, June 23- A South African labour court on Monday declared unlawful a planned gold mining strike by the country’s radical union AMCU, which has staged a crippling work stoppage at platinum mines.

Gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony and Sibanye welcomed the ruling.

“The decision brings certainty about the binding nature of the 2013 wage agreement, which is in the best interest of employees, the industry, and our country,” the producers’ chief negotiator Elize Strydom, said in a statement.

“Going forward, we will continue to bargain in good faith with the elected representatives of employees,” she added.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which is a minor union in the gold sector, refused to sign the two year wage deal reached by the producers and two other unions in September last year.

AMCU is behind a five month strike in the platinum sector which has hit production in the world’s top exporting country, with companies reporting a combined loss of 23,8 billion rand ($2,24 billion) in earnings.

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