On average each striking miner lost R60 000 in wages and no matter how you look at it they can never recover that loss, it is gone.
The increase that they finally received will not compensate for this loss it will instead go towards repaying debt incurred while on strike. No doubt the loan sharks will be the big winners here and it will not be long before the miners are in a worse position than before the strike due to increased debt.
The mining companies also suffered but they have the upper hand in the end, the new wages will cost them around R2.6 billion over the next 3 years but all they have to do is reduce their staff by 15 000 and they have covered that increase, and as sure as the sun rises in the East this is what will happen.
Striking will lead to a huge increase in mechanisation and stockpiling of raw material in the event of another strike and this in turn will lead to even more job losses.
Unions should be forced by law to pay their members 50% of their wages while on strike. This will stop stupid and irrelevant strikes from taking place. I am sure that not one AMCU official went hungry or without pay over the last 6 months.
There has to be a better mechanism in resolving wage negotiations as the only winners in this strike was AMCU and the loan sharks. Don’t look to the Government for a solution as they are too busy with their fingers in the tax-payers till.