Jubilant miners say yes to pay deal
Johannesburg - Striking miners at Lonmin [JSE:LON] in the North West have accepted a 22% pay rise and will return to work on Thursday, worker leader Zolisa Bodlani said.
Reporting back to the workers at the platinum mine in Marikana on Tuesday, Bodlani said the increase would be applied across the board.
Rock drill operators would now get R11 078 a month before deductions, production team leaders R13 022, and operators R9 883.
Workers would further receive a once-off bonus of R2 000.
President of the SA Council of Churches, Bishop Jo Seoka, who was also part of the workers' negotiations, said the offer was closer to the R12 500 the workers had been demanding since they went on strike on 10 August.
"We are happy with the latest offer; it is better than what the workers got before they went on strike."
The negotiators were expected to meet mine management later on Tuesday to sign the agreement. They would address workers at 10:00 local time on Wednesday to report back on the signing of the agreement.
Workers were happy with the latest offer. They whistled and jumped for joy, telling the negotiators to sign the deal.
Some carried Bodlani on their shoulders, saying he had never let them down and he was their hero.
The pay hike brings to an end the violent strike that has claimed the lives of 45 lives since 10 August.
On 16 August, 34 workers were killed when police opened fire on them, and 78 were wounded. A total of 270 workers were arrested.
The preceding week saw 10 people killed in violent protests.
Another man, reported to be a National Union of Mineworkers shop steward, was found dead last week.
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