Amplats strike continues

Oct 31 2012 18:24

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Rustenburg - The six-week long strike at Anglo [JSE:AMS] Platinum (Amplats) will continue, the national strike co-ordinating committee said on Wednesday.

"The workers are not going back until the main demand has been met," said acting chairperson Elias Juba.

Speaking after an executive meeting in Rustenburg, he said workers at Amplats would continue to hold meetings near their working place whether they had been granted a permit or not.

He said they would be marching to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on November 10. The objective was to deliver a memorandum to President Jacob Zuma to highlight the living and working conditions at mines.

He said the march was initially planned for Saturday, but did not happen as there would have been no one to receive their memorandum at the Union Building on that day.

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

On Saturday, Amplats offered to reinstate all dismissed workers and pay them a R2 000 once-off bonus if they returned to work by 7am on Tuesday.

The workers refused to return to work, and instead marched from Sondela informal settlement to Khuseleka shaft.

North West police said the workers had gathered by 4am at Sondela and marched towards the direction of the shaft.

A sub-station near the shaft was burnt down.

"Around 6am, the illegally marching protesters got involved in a confrontation with the police," said Warrant Officer Sam Tselenyane.

"The marching protesters became violent and started throwing stones and wavering all sorts of dangerous weapons at the police."

He said a policeman was hit in the face with a stone.

The police used rubber bullets to disperse the mineworkers.

Juba said miners wanted to build a structure led by workers to represent themselves.

"There are programmes to be implemented."

He did not elaborate.

The strike committee had been at the forefront of the strike, after the workers chose to be represented by their elected representatives instead of unions.

Wednesday's meeting was attended by representatives from Amplats, Bokoni Platinum, Gold Fields and Harmony.
amplats  |  mining unrest  |  strike


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