Platinum strike 'stepped up'

By Drum Digital
17 March 2014

The strike is in its eighth week.

The wage strike in the platinum sector has been stepped up, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said on Monday.

"The strike continues. The number of workers on strike has increased," said Amcu co-ordinator Evans Ramokga.

"No one reported for work today [Monday]. I have been going around the mine to check following allegation that workers intend to return to work. I can confirm no one has abandoned the strike. The workers are determined to fight for a living wage."

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

They have rejected the companies' offer of an increase of up to nine percent.

The union revised its demand saying the R12,500 could be achieved over four years. However, the companies rejected the offer, stating it was not affordable and amounted to a 30 percent increase.

Talks aimed at resolving the strike collapsed after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) found the parties were too far apart.

Earlier this month, the union presented a petition recording their unhappiness about how government departments and platinum mining companies had handled their demands.

President Jacob Zuma was given until March 20 to respond to the petition.

North West premier Thandi Modise said parties involved in the wage dispute should increase efforts to find a solution to bring the protracted strike to end.

"There is a need for parties to renew their commitment to end the strike which has entered its eighth week as it is impacting negatively on our economy and putting a strain on relations between striking miners and our communities."

She called on striking workers to respect public and private properties and the freedom of movement of other citizens and those who wanted to go to work.

-by Sapa

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