AMCU arrives at union buildings

By Drum Digital
06 March 2014

Hundreds of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members arrived at the Union Buildings in Pretoria early on Thursday afternoon.

The marchers braved the wet weather to hand over a petition regarding their unhappiness about how government departments and platinum mining companies have handled their strike.

They were led by union president Joseph Mathunjwa, treasurer Jimmy Gama, and secretary Jeff Mphahlele.

Marchers followed a route along Struben, Steve Biko and Madiba streets, under heavy police guard. A police helicopter circled above.

Upon arrival at the Union Buildings they ran to take cover under the trees.

"Where is water? I am thirsty," one man shouted to the police.

Amcu members at Lonmin Platinum, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23, demanding a minimum wage of R12,500 a month.

Talks to resolve the strike with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration have stalled.

The mining companies have offered staggered increases of seven to nine percent over the next three years.

On Tuesday, Amcu said it had revised its demand, and that the R12,500 minimum monthly salary could now be achieved over three years.

"We are not exactly reducing our demand. Our move is meant to give the employers a breather," Mathunjwa told reporters in Johannesburg.

However, the companies rejected Amcu's revised demand.

The platinum producers' CEOs said the revised Amcu demand was not affordable.

"We remain far apart. The revised demand by Amcu of an average basic wage increase of between 25 percent to 35 percent year-on-year, over a four-year period, remains unaffordable."

-SAPA

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