Amplats strikers not backing down

2012-10-06 11:55

Striking Amplats workers have vowed to disregard the termination notices issued to them by their employer.

Over 1000 striking mineworkers this morning gathered at Bleskop Stadium at Anglo Platinum’s operation near Marikana, North West Province, today.

Strike leaders told them they “could not give up their fight” for higher wages.

The leaders, who form a committee elected by the miners, said they would continue to gather and protest and would ensure that the mining operation ground to a standstill if their demands were not met.

They stressed that they would not be deterred by police. “Don’t forget comrades, we are free and this is a democratic South Africa,” one leader told the crowd.

Miners interviewed by City Press said that they were caught off guard when notified of their disciplinary hearing via sms this week, but said that attending a hearing “would be breaking the strike”.

Amplats yesterday sent workers a notification that they had three days to appeal their dismissal.

The meeting this morning played out peacefully, with police nevertheless keeping a watchful eye.

A water cannon and several armed vehicles remained on standby. The marchers were this afternoon gathering at the koppie where one of them was killed on Thursday.

Authorities removed the body yesterday.

The unprotected strike enters its third week now.

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