More violence at Implats

2012-02-24 13:05

Johannesburg - More violence erupted at Impala Platinum (Implats) in Rustenburg on Friday, a mine spokesperson said.

"There have been further serious incidents of violence this morning [Friday] but I don't have the details yet," Implats executive Johan Theron said.

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane confirmed a recurrence of violence and intimidation, but could also not immediately give details as he was in a meeting.

Implats workers downed tools in an illegal strike over a month ago. As a result about 17 200 workers were dismissed.

This led to violent protests and at least two deaths.

Implats said dismissed workers could reapply for their jobs, but would lose any accumulated benefits.

Workers, however, want to be reinstated to their jobs without losing benefits.

8 500 re-employed

On Thursday afternoon, Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addressed the ex-miners and urged them to return to work.

By Thursday, about 8 500 people had been re-employed, said Theron.

"Hopefully after the call to go back to work... the figures will increase today [Friday]," he said.

The North West government said on Thursday that a settlement agreement had been reached between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Implats for the unconditional re-employment of dismissed workers.

Theron denied this.

"After the mass meeting yesterday, there were some conversations among delegates about how the meeting went.... There was no formal meeting."

He said Implats and the NUM - which represents about 70% of the workforce - would meet in Johannesburg on Friday afternoon to try and resolve the matter.

"Yesterday was just feedback after the mass meeting and to try and say we are still committed to finding a solution," he said.

The illegal strike started when rock drill operators downed tools over unhappiness that they had not received a retention bonus, while miners had.

They refused to involve the NUM in addressing their issues, and a new union, the Association of Mining and Construction Union (Amcu), was exploiting employee dissatisfaction in this regard, Implats CEO David Brown said earlier this month.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-24 13:15

    We want work, Want Job, Please we want work............and when you are fortunate to get work, this is how you carry on. Bring foreign workers!!!

      africanwolf - 2012-02-24 14:58

      @Nazo2010 Have you ever tried to run a mine? Invest your own money in research, paying geologists, buying the actual land and all machinery, in order for your workers to dictate the rules? who needs a business like this? if the workers are so clever, why don't they invest money and start their own mine? when they applied for the job the knew what their salary is going to be,or were they guessing? they only count the mine's income, what about the expenses? and no i am not a mine owner, just know how business works.

  • Shirley - 2012-02-24 13:33

    This is the only language these thugs understand-violence. They should all be fired and people who want to work hired!

      J.D. - 2012-02-24 18:55

      And when the thugs are fired and the ones that want work are employed they become the thugs...ask me I went about this. They beg for work and when they are employed they simply use their collective number power to f... up their own employment. No cure for this African disease.

  • Hannes - 2012-02-24 13:42

    o boy!! still i cant help wondering what will happen if the nationalize the mines... is this the beginning of many violent hours?

  • Thoka - 2012-02-24 13:55

    What is good for Piet is good for Thoka, Employer and employee reps have both been stubbon affecting production that will take for ever to recover. smart worker and hard worker complements each other

  • Rory Marx - 2012-02-24 14:08

    just like sheep!if the one starts the others follows!now they were fired but now they want their work back!eish it doesnt work like that!give the jobs to the others that want to work!i dont earn 9000 rand a month!why should they get that amount!!geez i will go mine for that amount!

  • Ian - 2012-02-24 14:26

    Their demans are unrealistic and in the process the hold the economy at ransom. @Thoka - I have to disagree with you. NOt all employess can get teh same pay or benefits. If I have to compare your reasoning to my industry; you are essentially saying that the call centre agents shoudl get the same as the marketing or even compliance people. Each skill comes with it's own package suited to the level of experience and of course responsibility. I say, down wit the Unions. The USA and Briton stopped the Unions in their tracks and since they did that, they were able to govern again.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-24 14:32

    I just hope I am completely misinterpreting Thoka's comment about "What is good for Piet is good for Thoka" If my interpretation is wrong, then I will withdraw it completely, and I ask Thoka to wholly disregard this post. My interpretation is that Thoka is throwing a race card, insinuating that there is one set of conditions for white employees, and a totally different set of rules for black mine employees. If my interpretation is correct, then Thoka is a raving mad racist, that should not be allowed to remain in this country. He should be expelled from the South Africa and dropped back in the steaming tropical jungles of central Africa, the historical birth place of Africa’s thousand of tribes. All mining companies have put every effort known to man, to remove any form of racism in the industry. Thoka's remarks can only be compared to those one would expect from a grade three schoolchild, who has zero understanding of the ways of the world or its different cultures.

      Thoka - 2012-02-24 15:09

      lol were going to feel better if i said whats good for thoka is good for piet. Lmao. let me not entertain your agenda because you did not read the same article as me.

  • yvonnecraig.linton - 2012-02-24 14:50

    Thinkertank, Thoka take time to think ....

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