Amcu will ‘do its best’ to ensure peaceful strike

2014-01-23 08:27

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The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) will do its best to stage a peaceful strike on the platinum mines in Rustenburg in the North West, says an official.

“We have increased the number of marshals to ensure that the strike is peaceful,” said coordinator Evans Ramokga this morning.

“Amcu is a majority union with about 90% of the workforce. The remaining 10% will report for duty but as in any strike, some will not go to work fearing for their lives.

“This time our strike will be peaceful. Marshals will ensure that no one is intimidated or attacked while going to work.”

He said non-striking workers were reporting for work at the Khuseleka shaft of Amplats.

“No one has been attacked or intimidated for going to work.”

Amcu members at Lonmin in Marikana, Anglo American Platinum and Impala mines started a strike today pushing for an entry-level monthly salary of R12 500.

On Tuesday, the companies said Amcu’s wage demands were unaffordable and unrealistic.

“It is of great concern to the platinum companies that employees are being made promises by Amcu that cannot be delivered upon,” the platinum companies CEOs said in a joint statement.

Impala Platinum cancelled last night’s shift at its Rustenburg operations and will continue to do so for the duration of Amcu’s planned strike, the company said.

This was to mitigate the risk of violence and to ensure the safety of their employees, said spokeswoman Alice Lourens.

“There will be employees reporting for duty in daylight so they do not have to travel in darkness,” she said.

“During the period of the strike, there will be no night shift.”

North West police said yesterday they were ready for the planned strike. As a legal strike, it was the organisers’ responsibility to ensure the strike was peaceful and picketing rules were adhered to, said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

“Members of the SA Police Service [and] public order policing will be deployed to ensure peace and security of the striking mine workers and the public.”

Strikers are not allowed to interfere with public order, destroy property or intimidate non-strikers.

“We have the responsibility to ensure that the laws of the republic are enforced where there is disregard,” he said.

“Safety and security is a shared responsibility and the North West provincial commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo calls upon all parties to play their part in managing the strike.”

A total of 44 people were killed in a violent strike at Lonmin’s Marikana operations in August 2012 – 34 were killed on August 16 2012 when the police fired at them. Another 10, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

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