Implats workers may strike

2010-07-26 12:57

A strike by more than 18 000 mineworkers was on the cards at Impala Platinum’s operations, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said today.

This followed the issuing of a certificate of non-resolution on Saturday by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The union said: “NUM members will tomorrow meet to receive feedback on the status of failed talks and decide on when to strike.”

The dispute involved outstanding issues from last year’s wage negotiations.

These issues included transport and living out allowances.

Eddie Majadibodu, the NUM’s chief negotiator at Impala Platinum, said: “Impala has now crossed the last line, and they must live with the consequences every action has a reaction.”

He said the company had refused to close the gap they had created during apartheid whereby white workers received a provident fund contribution of 20.25% and their black counterparts receive 16.5%.

Majadibodu said: “The company also refuses to let its workers go from the hostels by denying them a decent housing allowance of R1 700 per month.”

He said Impala Platinum had argued that the 8% wage increase on offer for category A and B workers would cover all these costs.

The NUM has demanded a 10% across-the-board wage increase plus allowances.

Majadibodu said: “We are saying whilst we may not be married to the percentage increment, but on harmonisation of provident funds and the housing allowances, we are immovable property. What Impala Platinum wants to maintain is racism of the worst kind and they are not going to get away with it.”

Impala Platinum’s spokesperson Bob Gilmour could not be immediately be reached for comment.

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