Unions reopen Marikana negotiations

2012-08-30 10:09

Unions at a peace accord meeting in Rustenburg have agreed to reopen salary negotiations.

The negotiations were to be reopened today.

“The unions agreed on Wednesday to reopen the salary negotiations and have committed to finding a solution to the Lonmin labour dispute,” worker spokesman Zolisa Bodlani said at Nkaneng in Wonderkop.

He was reporting back to striking workers on the progress made on the first day of the meeting.

“We realised that without the unions it would have taken us up to three months to engage with the employer.”

Before the meeting, the striking workers had indicated that they wanted to represent themselves.

They went on to question Labour Minister Mildred Olifant on the role the unions would play at the peace-accord meeting.

The labour department convened the meeting aimed at finding solutions and bringing peace and stability to Lonmin, following a violent strike.

The four unions, Solidarity, Uasa, the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union are part of the meeting.

Lonmin workers went on a wildcat strike on August 10 demanding an after-deductions salary of R12 500 per month.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the first four days of the strike.

Thirty-four of the mineworkers were killed in a confrontation with police on August 16.

78 of them were injured and over 250 were arrested and are facing charges of public violence and murder in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court.

Workers have vowed not to return to work without getting the R12 500 demanded.

They sang liberation songs and blew vuvuzelas after they received the report from the meeting.

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