Fin24

Amcu: We are not safe

2012-08-20 17:05

Marikana - Lonmin workers linked to Amcu are not safe, the trade union's leader told workers and residents in Marikana on Monday.

"We are not safe. Our phones have been tapped," the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathenjwa told a crowd in the Wonderkop informal settlement at the Lonmin platinum mine.

"We have been democratically colonised - workers work under very harsh conditions."

On Thursday, 34 people were killed when the police opened fire on strikers, some of them armed, when trying to disperse them after a week of violent protests.

Another 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in violence at the mine in the week before.

The police ministry said 78 people were injured and 259 arrested during Thursday's shooting.

Mathenjwa accused the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Lonmin of trying to get the striking workers fired.

"They will then together analyse and draw up a list. Any Amcu member will then be fired," he claimed.

"No worker should be fired until we are done with the counselling, burials and arbitration so that workers should stop suffering under the present conditions."

Mathenjwa said Amcu had no political affiliation.

"Amcu's politics is that about workers' conditions. We are not affiliated to any [political] party."

A delegation of opposition party leaders arrived in Marikana on Monday to address residents.

It was led by the Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota. He was joined by Democratic Alliance MP Wilmot James, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, and African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe.

Lekota said he and his counterparts would meet Lonmin management and the two labour unions involved.

AmaMpondo king Ndamase Ndamase who travelled from the Eastern Cape, told locals he was saddened by what happened, and hoped for peace.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between NUM and Amcu over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher pay.

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Comments
  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-20 17:27

    Mr Joseph Mathenjwa, can you please explain why you as AMCU leader & your members neglected to follow normal strike procedure & why you failed to control you members who repeatedly refused to stop their armed illegal strike action. YOU as the union should represent your members as a union, not a militant bunch of thugs. I think you & NUM have used the workers to fight your turf war, YOU should be ashamed of yourself. NUM is also to blame for trying to be a union and a political party at the same time, they took their eyes off the ball, which allowed opportunists like yourself & Malema to cause this trouble.

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-20 18:16

      @nigel... the fact that it is called a wild cat strike is because Lonmin did not want to give recognition to the new AMCU union which was started due to the failure of NUM to secure a living wage increase. Lonmin's reason for not dealing with AMCU could only be because they were happy with the ludicrously low wage settlement from NUM. The workers were not, realizing that NUM over the years have conspired to keep wages low, with fat cat members actually now shareholders of Lonmin. Not to even think about the CASATU/ANC Alliance and affiliations. Workers on the ground were reorganizing themselves into a new unaffiliated union, which does not bode well for business as usual. Num/Lonmin and the ANC are allied via their affiliations, but over recent months NUM has being experiencing a major walk out as the new union grows in strength. It was in Lonmin's/NUM/Casatu and the ANC interest to squash the new union as quickly as possible. If there is no recognition of the new union how are they supposed to follow normal procedure? I suppose we can't say that the new union does not exist anymore, it seems they have arrived. Lonmin cannot ignore them anymore. And NUM has no say, NUM leaders sold out the worker years ago already, AMCU demands for recognition and the increase in salaries is respectable.

      lotus.river.5 - 2012-08-20 18:48

      Interesting glen,everyone is just greedy for more and keep it,

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-20 18:58

      Glen, the problem is that R 12500 is not a reasonable demand, & then for AMCU & its members to refuse to negotiate at all + the murder of the policemen & security guards is not exactly behaviour that commands sympathy, to me, Lonmin, AMCU, NUM & the ANC all share the blame.

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-08-20 21:21

      Glen, AMCU is an opportunist organisation completely out of touch with reality. Why do you think semi skilled barely literate workers who require training so their employer can employ them, should command high wages when in fact they can be replaced by the unemployed? There are better skilled workers who are fully literate who do not earn more than these mine workers all over this country.

  • SaTyRLoliCoN - 2012-08-20 17:29

    "...democratically colonised..." Is this better or worse than "Imperial Colonisation"?

  • Jennifer - 2012-08-20 17:33

    No one is forcing you to work there!

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-20 17:57

    AMCU members not safe is like the understatement of the decade.

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-08-20 21:23

      Well stop going around armed and threatening the Police Force and your employers and they may be safer.

  • tawana.malele - 2012-08-20 18:19

    That's rich coming from murders who even kill security and police while on an illegal strike. You did this at Implats and Aquarius and got away with it. It is shocking that this guy and his 'leaders' have not been arrested for charging at police with stolen police guns and pangas.

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-20 19:04

      Sorry Tawana I did not realise he has a history....Never the less he makes my blood boil !

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-20 20:04

      @ kevin, sure he has a history, he was expelled from NUM for his behavior, he is a millitant opportunist just like his new friend Mr Malema, they have a lot in common, they where expelled, they are intolerant, they are opportunists, they use others to achieve their awn agendas, at least this is what I have heard\read.

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-20 20:53

      Yip guys read up on this,.... so another upstart has created misery in families where they do not see and a few more bucks are made from misleading poor hard workers...Sad and criminal!Is is this what we call redistibuton of wealth or total abuse by a youth with greed?

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-08-20 18:23

    Careful AMCU. The boogey man is out to get you.

      kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-20 20:11

      No such thing brendon ...lift your own bed as the tockalosh is searching for rabble rousers !

  • kevin.pitzer - 2012-08-20 19:01

    If this is to be true and we know Juju and crew are activists that few will touch then why allow them voice. Sorry dude ....You too have blood on your hands and its clear the lives of these people are not important in your own agenda.....Bunch of cowards!

  • alan.matthews.9066 - 2012-08-20 19:21

    The way I see it is that the Unions need to be brought under stricter control. All Unions. If that means tearing apart the Government Tripartite alliance so be it. The ANC Government have to make some very soul searching decisons.

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