Malema to address Implats workers

2012-02-28 07:51
Johannesburg - ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema will address workers at Impala Platinum's mine near Rustenburg on Tuesday following a five-week illegal strike.

League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said Malema would speak to the workers at the Freedom Park Stadium about nationalisation of mines and better working conditions.

On Monday National Union of Mineworkers (Num) general secretary Frans Baleni said Implats was responsible for the strike. He said the union's central structures had not been informed that Implats was going to implement a salary adjustment for miners.

This retention bonus was apparently not given to rock drill operators, which led to them walking off the job, followed by thousands of other miners. Implats fired 17 200 workers after they refused to go back to their jobs.

Initially, Implats said the dismissed workers could reapply for their positions, but would lose any benefits they previously had. However, on Friday the union and Implats agreed workers could be reinstated with their previous benefits intact. They would not be paid for the days they did not work.

Workers had until 15:00 on Wednesday to return to Implats, or they would not be rehired. The company said it would take back only 15 000 workers, leaving 2 200 jobless.

Three people had been killed during the course of the strike.

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