Lonmin workers back at work after illegal strike

2013-03-05 13:13

Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, said around 6 000 workers had returned to work at its Marikana mine, ending a brief illegal strike that coincided with a visit by journalists.

Lonmin spokesperson Sue Vey said all the workers were now back underground and the protest had cost the company a shift’s worth of production.

The strike at the mine, where 34 workers were shot dead by police last August – in the deadliest security incident since the end of apartheid in 1994 – also coincided with a visit by journalists to the site in Rustenburg, North West.

“This is the largest number of people who have refused to go underground since the end of the strike in August. It’s illegal. It’s not sanctioned,” Mark Munroe, Lonmin’s head of mining, told reporters.

Lonmin said the protests were being carried out by miners affiliated with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), who were demanding the closure of the offices of the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) because it was no longer the majority union.

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