Fired Amplats workers not backing down

Johannesburg - Sacked Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] miners on Monday refused to accept their dismissals for embarking on a wildcat strike.

"We used the Bleskop Stadium on Saturday, a day after the mine fired us. If we were fired they could not have allowed us to use their property," said Gaddhafi Mdoda, one of the strike leaders.

"The dismissal does not threaten us. If the mine is going to dismiss us, no one is going to work at the mine."

He said despite being fired they regarded themselves as employees of Amplats and workers would gather at the Bleskop Stadium again on Monday.

"We are going to Bleskop, we are still employees of the mine," he said.

He said they would not appeal their dismissals, but continue with the strike until their demand was met.

Amplats fired 12 000 workers on Friday after they failed to attend disciplinary hearings. Workers went on a wildcat strike on September 12, demanding a monthly salary of R16 000 and allowances.

On Thursday night one of the workers was killed at Nkaneng informal settlement near Photsaneng.

The police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them, and later a man identified as Mtshunquleni Qakamba, 48, was found dead.

"We are going to lay a charge of murder against the police for killing one of our comrades," Mdoda said.

He said the case would be opened at the Rustenburg police station on Monday.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in North West has appealed to the workers to suspend their strike.

"We are calling on all workers who are on (an) unprotected strike to reconsider to suspend the strike to allow the negotiations to start and allow the federation to lead their demand for proper disputes and take a protected action which will not dismiss anyone," said provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.


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