Cosatu calls for end to platinum strike

By Drum Digital
29 May 2014

It is time for the marathon strike in the platinum mining sector to be resolved, says the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

It is time for the marathon strike in the platinum mining sector to be resolved, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Thursday.

"Cosatu calls for a speedy resolution of the strike, in the interests of the workers, communities, and the country," general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in Johannesburg.

He was briefing reporters after a three-day meeting of Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC).

Vavi said Cosatu's role in the strike would be limited as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was not an affiliate of the trade union federation.

"[However] we can always play a supportive role [by] calling on parties to come to the table, calling for the speedy resolution of the dispute in the interest of workers in our country, and so forth."

Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They rejected an offer by the companies to bring their pay to R12,500 by July 2017.

Vavi said the CEC deplored the current volatility in the platinum belt in the North West.

"It is possible for workers to lead a peaceful, bloodless, and effective legal strike."

Earlier this week, two houses belonging to miners were petrol bombed in Sefikile, North West, while other workers have also been attacked.

A man, believed to be a miner, was also found hanging from a tree in Broederstroom near Brits.

On Wednesday, newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi announced the establishment of an intergovernmental technical team to resolve the strike.

Vavi said Cosatu was encouraged by Ramatlhodi's energy and commitment to try to solve the matter.

"We are encouraged by the energy that the new minister of minerals has brought to the table and his eagerness to work with all the parties, including Amcu, in the resolution of the strike.

"That is exactly what gives us hope that there is [a solution]," he said. - Sapa

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