We control these mines, defiant AMCU says amid calls for secondary strike

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa. (Photo: AFP)
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa. (Photo: AFP)

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union has challenged any mining companies who attempt to interdict its planned secondary strike to meet it in court.

The union called for a secondary strike in support of an ongoing three-month stayaway at Sibanye-Stillwater, Fin24 earlier reported.

Briefing media in Johannesburg on Tuesday, AMCU leader Joseph Mathunjwa said the country should brace for a total shutdown of mines at Impala Platinum in Rustenburg, Harmony and Lonmin.

He said the strike was expected to start next next week. 

Mathunjwa said the union would also urge its members in the coal mines to support the strike.

'We will meet in court'

Asked if he anticipated the companies concerned to interdict the strike, Mathunjwa responded: "We will meet in court."

On Tuesday, Mathunjwa, who was flanked by the union's top leaders, also called on investors to pull out of Sibanye, accusing the company of disregarding the needs of poor workers.

"Our members will now be embarking on a secondary strike. We can't tell how long it will take," he said, adding:"We control these mines."

Mathunjwa said the secondary strike was aimed at sending a call to Sibanye and CEO Neal Froneman, who has resisted the union's demand for wage increases.

About 15 000 AMCU members at Sibanye's gold operations, south of Johannesburg, downed tools in November, demanding an annual wage increase of R1 000 for the next three years. The company, which is on the process of acquiring Lonmin in a R5.17bn offer, is not budging on AMCU's demand and has been trying to halt the strike. 

AMCU, on the other hand, has maintained that it won't accept "slave wages".

Last week, Sibanye announced that the company may cut more than 6 000 jobs, in a move that could add more stress to an industry that has been shedding jobs on large scale in recent years.

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