Non-striking mine workers receive helping hand

2014-05-21 14:40
(Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

(Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

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Rustenburg - Non-striking workers in Rustenburg in the North West are suffering, trade union Solidarity said on Wednesday.

The trade union's Helping Hands project handed out baby formula and other supplies to mothers affected by the platinum mining sector strike.

"We help non-striking workers; it is not their decision to be on strike," Helping Hands deputy director Christine Breet said.

"You can cut on other things, but, unfortunately, you cannot cut back on babies' needs."

Sixty mothers in Rustenburg and Mooinooi were each given a box of nappies and baby milk that could last for a month.

The hamper also contained energy bars, skin cream, and magazines.

"For a month the mothers will have their children's needs covered. They can now focus on other household needs."

She said between 22 April and 21 May the organisation had spent over R7 000 helping mothers affected by the strike.

"We give people dried food which is rich in protein and does not need to be refrigerated," Breet said.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) downed tools at Impala Platinum, Lonmin, and Anglo American Platinum on 23 January demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

They rejected the companies' wage offer which would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017.

The remuneration includes a living out and holiday leave allowances, but excludes medical and retirement benefits, and any bonuses.

Mediation talks to end the strike are under way at the labour court.

Cecelia du Plessis, who runs a feeding scheme at an NG Church in Rustenburg, said she had helped about 750 households since the beginning of the strike.

"People have lost cars and houses."

Some were forced to move in with children or parents.

"They do not have benches, fridges, or cellphones anymore because they have had to pawn them," she said.

Read more on:    solidarity  |  amcu  |  mahikeng  |  strikes  |  mining

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