Amcu won’t budge on R12 500 wage demand – Mathunjwa

2014-04-03 15:46

Amcu will not abandon its pay demand of at least R12 500 a month, the trade union’s leader Joseph Mathunjwa has said.

“This is the line. We are drawing the line like they drew the line,” he told hundreds of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, today.

“Comrades, we are not to be threatened.”

Hundreds of Amcu members gathered at platinum miner Lonmin’s offices to hand over a memorandum of demands. The union has been on strike in the platinum sector for more than two months.

Speaking to union members sitting, Mathunjwa said platinum companies should go back to the negotiating table to end the strike in the sector.

“We are not apologetic,” he said. “If they are saying they are not feeling the pinch of the strike, they are lying,” he said.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum downed tools on January 23. They have so far rejected a wage increase of up to 9%. The companies, in turn, rejected Amcu’s revised demand that the R12 500 monthly wage could be achieved over four years.

Last week, mining bosses said the strike had caused irreparable harm, as well as losses of an estimated R10 billion in revenue.

Mathunjwa told the crowd Amcu was singing the “same song” it did when the Marikana massacre happened in August 2012. Forty-six people died during an unprotected strike at Lonmin Platinum’s mine in Marikana, North West, in August 2012.

Mathunjwa said the present Lonmin management team made the promise of R12 500 after the deaths at Marikana.

“Move away from 9.5% and deliver on R12 500 promises made by the [Lonmin] CEO,” he said.

“Negotiate in good faith ... Companies come back to the table, let’s negotiate the four-years agreement.”

He said after Marikana, Amcu hoped Lonmin would negotiate with maturity.

“They have not learned anything from Marikana,” he said, referring to Lonmin’s plans to get traditional leaders to speak to mineworkers.

As Mathunjwa spoke, people in the crowd cheered in the blistering sun.

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