Lonmin workers return to work

By Drum Digital
20 September 2012

Lonmin miners whistled as they returned to work on Thursday, ending a nearly six-week wildcat strike, which has left scores of people dead.

Jubilant workers alighted from buses at the Marikana platinum mine's Karee shaft, in Rustenburg.

"I am happy that I am at work. It had been six weeks of uncertainty. I'm happy with the increase although its not the R12,500 we demanded, but it is better than what we used to earn before this strike," mineworker Thebe Metsi said.

He was looking forward to his first day underground after six weeks.

"We have not been working for a long time and everyone is eager to start to break the rocks and make up for the lost time," he said.

After clocking in, workers assembled at the Karee Stadium waiting to be briefed on how the shift would operate.

They would undergo a refresher course before they could start working.

The workers returned to work after accepting a wage of hike of between R9000 and R13,000.

They went on strike on August 10 in demand of a monthly salary of R12,500. The strike turned violent and 46 people were killed.

In terms of the wage agreement, general workers will receive R9611, winch operators R9883, rock drill operators R11,078 and production team leaders R13,022.

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