After having incurred a loss of more than sixty five thousand ounces of production of gold, the Gold Fields Ltd or GFI decided to take a firm stand at its South African production sites as it passed orders of firing all the miners who failed to return to work by the set deadline of October 18, 2012 at the Beatrix and KDC West Gold production sites.
The company stated that it had come to take this decision after having trying all reasonable attempts being made and after an exhaustion of all reasonable alternatives. The Chief Executive officer Nick Holland made this very velar in his speech at a press conference at Johannesburg, the place where the company is based. This came on the backdrop of about fifteen thousand workers still being on strike at both plants. The company even decided to go on to apply for a court conjunction in order to declare the stoppage.
Also been hit by stoppages are AngloGold Ashanti Limited which happens to be the third largest producer of gold in the world along with another major producer, the harmony Gold Mining company which also came to a standstill as workers started demanding an increase in their salaries, higher than even what the labor union people secured. However, taking a firm stand to such stoppages was the Anglo American Platinum Limited which went on to fire about 12,000 workers back on 5th October. Some workplaces also saw a lot of violence emerging with the security officials being called upon.
On the backdrop of discontented workforce Gold Fields, Harmony and Anglo Gold offered its workers an increase of about 3 percent in their salaries, an offer that only got rejected blatantly by the workers. It is important to mention that the workers had already been given an increase of 7.5 to 10 percent already earlier in the year of 2012.
However, Gold Fields also imposed a condition on their offer. It stated clearly that their offer would be valid only in the case when the workers returned back to work by 2:00 pm local time. A condition that did not come in as a surprise to many as it had lost approximately ninety thousand ounces of production of gold, causing major losses to the shareholders and the company value.
In total Gold Fields lost approximately 1.2 Billion Rand which are almost equal to $137 million in terms of revenue till date because of the ongoing strike. While some of the miners did start returning to work during the day it is still a bit tough to say right now if all would do so and if the ongoing crisis would, and finally put the world markets out of its gold misery!
On the backdrop of all these events gold traded at $1751.85 per ounce.