Amcu refuses to settle for less

By admin
03 April 2014

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president, Joseph Mathunjwa, says they will never surrender to Lonmin and agree to 9%.

Amcu says they won't settle for a 9% wage increase but Lonmin won’t budge.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president, Joseph Mathunjwa, says they will never surrender to mining company Lonmin and agree to a 9% increase. He was addressing hundreds of Amcu members who marched to the Lonmin offices in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg on 3 April to deliver a memorandum of their demands.

'They killed us at Marikana but we are still singing the same song of R12 500.'

He says Amcu is tired of speaking in percentages and it is time that they started to communicate in rands and cents.

Amcu members have been on strike for over 10 weeks in an attempt to get Lonmin executives to sign an agreement to increase wages to R12 500.

Mathunjwa says the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) bosses and the government are conspiring against Amcu but he refuses to settle for less than R12 500.

"They killed us at Marikana but we are still singing the same song of R12 500," said Mathunjwa. In the new memorandum presented to Lonmin CEO Ben Magara, Amcu has asked for the R12 500 minimum wage to be implemented within the next four years. This Mathunjwa says, is a fair demand as they had initially asked for this to be done within one year.

'If Lonmin closes, you will have no members.'

Mathunjwa pleaded with Magara not to divide Amcu members.

Although Magara thanked Mathunjwa for the memorandum and said he would “reflect” on its contents, he said Amcu needs to “reflect” on the reality of the mining industry.

“No one is benefiting from this. Not you, not miners, not the company,” Magara said.

Magara said he felt sorry for his employees and asked that Amcu “walk with Lonmin” for the benefit of the employees.

“They were my employees before they were your union. If Lonmin closes, you will have no members,” Magara said.

Magara said Lonmin cannot afford to pay the R12 500 Amcu is asking for.

He told Mathunjwa to come to Lonmin to negotiate when it suits him.

Mathunjwa said Amcu plans to march to the British embassy in Pretoria next week. He said after that they would march to parliament in Cape Town.

"If it means walking 10 days and drinking from rivers we will do it," said Mathunjwa.

Mathunjwa spoke for over two hours but throughout union members were responsive often responding by raising their arms and shouting: “Yes, yes, yes!” in agreement.

Mathunjwa said his vote in 1994 was for economic freedom not just to share a toilet with other races.

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