All quiet at Implats, police say

2012-02-22 19:09

Johannesburg - The situation at Impala Platinum's (Implats) Rustenburg operation was calm early Wednesday evening, North West police said.

"It's quiet and calm for the moment. We shall see as the night goes on," Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said.

No disruptions had been reported since early on Wednesday morning when a boardroom on the mine's premises was burnt down during the ongoing violent protests.

"The boardroom was set on fire in the early hours of this morning [Wednesday], at shaft 7A," said Ngubane.

He said no injuries were reported. A case of arson had been opened. No arrests have been made.

The protests, linked to a five-week long strike at the mine, had claimed two lives so far. Implats fired 17 000 workers after they went on an unprotected strike demanding that the salaries of rock drill operators be increased to R9 000 a month.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) negotiated with the mine to re-employ the dismissed workers. Some workers, most of them at the mine's North shafts, refused to return to work unless they were paid at least R9 000 a month.

Most NUM members in the North shafts did not want to be represented by the NUM, claiming the union had failed them. They wanted to be represented by the Association of Mining and Construction Union.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said more workers were coming forward to be re-employed, and by Tuesday more than 8 000 had their jobs back.

"The process is moving smoothly," he said.

Implats said on Tuesday discussions with the NUM would continue around any issues which still needed to be resolved once the workers were back on the job.

  • alansmartSnr - 2012-02-22 20:29

    Impala should be lauded for their resolute stance. It's time to sobre the unions up. A few weeks of chaos is worth industrial peace for the next few years. The Unions have the lions share of the pathetic state that most municipalities, health services, education and.. and.. are in such a bad state. Your stance has a lot of support from almost everyone.

  • alansmartSnr - 2012-02-22 20:55

    We should applaud implats for making a stand. Teach these gimme gimmee's that to have a job is a privelidge and a blessing. Once they start starving they will come begging for a job. There are millions who could take their place and it is not such a highly skilled job that you cant train them within weeks. This would teach a lot of people to be grateful to have a job at all and also that the Unions just use their contributions to become fat cats.. let the Unions feed them and pay for their housing.

  • Brett Bruce - 2012-02-22 21:53

    Striking burning and destroying is hard work eish the comrades need a rest!

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