Lonmin halts SMS campaign, wants to negotiate with Amcu

2014-05-15 12:50

Lonmin says it would like to go back to the negotiating table with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

It has also stopped its SMS campaign aimed at convincing miners to return to work.

Lerato Molebatsi, executive vice-president of public affairs, said the much-publicised return of the miners yesterday was not an event, instead it was a delicate process where people who want to go back to work could do so without compromising their safety. She added that in the next couple of weeks more workers would trickle in.

Lonmin says there has been an “overwhelming majority of workers who have returned to work”. But Molebatsi would not divulge figures.

The mine has also called on the media to refrain from identifying miners who have returned.

The security of those returning to work has been a focal point for both the police and the mine.

“We have always said that our employees can only respond to the call to come back to work if they feel that it is the safe thing to do. They should not allow any situation to get in the way of their safety,” said Molebatsi.

She could not say how the miners would be protected when they leave after their shifts.

“We have been in discussion with the civil authority. There has been an increase in police visibility and we hope that there will be peace and these abnormal measures will not be necessary,” she said.

She said the mine’s SMS campaign had created some angst and “we have decided to stop temporarily to review the security situation”.

The mine is currently involved in a legal battle with Amcu, which has taken platinum producers Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin to court seeking an urgent interdict to stop the mining company from communicating the new wage offer directly to the miners.

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