Striking miners are neglecting ARV treatment – Lonmin CEO

2014-04-14 08:46

More than 1 000 Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members are neglecting their antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, according to mining company Lonmin.

In a written response to Amcu’s petition dated April 9 2014, CEO Ben Magara said the company was helping its workers with housing, healthcare and HIV/Aids support.

“Over 1 000 Amcu members who are on strike have failed to report to our clinics to receive ARV treatment. We are concerned that they are risking their health and lives by interrupting their treatment and would like you to encourage them to continue treatment,” said Magara.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) operations at Rustenburg in the North West and Northam in Limpopo went on strike on January 23 2014, demanding a minimum monthly salary of R12 500.

They have rejected the nine percent salary increase the companies have tabled and the mining companies have also rejected the unions’ revised demand that the R12 500 be phased in over a period of four years.

Magara said most of the issues raised in the petition were of a sociopolitical and socioeconomic nature, and were not attainable as part of the wage negotiation process.

“We have therefore confined our response to those issues that are within our control.”

He said the company had presented an affordable wage adjustment proposal, which the union had not accepted.

“Our inflation-beating and affordable proposal adjustments ranging from 7.5 percent to nine percent for all our entry level jobs is higher than most settlements elsewhere in the industry.”

“While we appreciate the movement by Amcu at the last CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] plenary meeting, the revised demand for R12 500 over four years remains unaffordable and cannot be met by the company.”

Magara said mineworkers in the platinum sector were the highest paid in the country relevant to the nature of work.

Amcu could not immediately be reached for comment.

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