Amplats strikers ‘refuse to use unions’

2012-09-25 09:32

Trade unions organising at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) have not received striking workers’ grievances, the union has said.

“Unions have not received grievances from workers. They refuse to use us,” United Association of South Africa (UASA) operations manager Israel Sakala said today.

He said workers had instead elected a committee to represent them.

“We [unions] have an agreement with management. That agreement needs all signatories to be reviewed. UASA called on workers to return to work and allow bargaining agents to table their grievances,” he said.

He said the number of workers reporting for work was declining every day.

“Some workers are staying away because of intimidation,” he said.

The National Union of Mineworkers said it was meeting with workers today to hear their grievances.

“We do not have anything from them. We are meeting with them today,” said spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

Amplats workers went on a wildcat strike two weeks ago, demanding a salary increase of R17 000.

The workers’ representatives and mine management were meeting with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in Rustenburg today, in an attempt to find common ground.

One of the workers’ leaders Tebogo Lebeke said they would hold a mass meeting tomorrow to report back to the workers on their meeting at the CCMA.

Amplats said on Friday, that less than 20% of its workforce had reported for work.

“The company continues to urge employees to return to work and requires that they do so by no later than the night shift yesterday, failing which legal avenues will be pursued,” spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said in a statement.

She said the increase in police visibility had created an environment conducive for workers to return to work.


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