100 000 workers to down tools as Amcu calls strike

2014-01-20 08:39

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has called a strike over pay at sites run by the three top world producers of platinum.

Amcu said it expected 100 000 workers at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin to down tools from Thursday.

The industry is still recovering from a wave of violent strikes in 2012, including the Lonmin strike where 34 workers were shot dead by police on August 16.

Amcu earlier said it would call a strike at Impala and Lonmin to demand a minimum monthly salary of R12 500, but that talks with Anglo American were continuing.

Amcu claims the current entry-level wage is about R5 000 although platinum producers give higher figures.

“We are going to serve them the 48 hours’ notice all the same day, tomorrow, and the strike will commence on the Thursday in the morning,” said treasurer Jimmy Gama yesterday.

Sector-wide strikes will cripple world platinum supply since South Africa produces 80% of the global output.

The 100 000-member union also said this week it would strike at gold mines where it is the minority labour grouping.

It has rejected 8% wage increases offered by platinum and gold producers.

Following official processes for strikes marks a change from Amcu’s past practice of wildcat stoppages since it gained prominence on the platinum belt two years ago.

It wrested control of the platinum mines from the National Union of Mineworkers then with promises of dramatic salary increases.

Gama said the upcoming strike would be conducted peacefully.

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