Striking workers burn NUM T-shirts
Johannesburg - Striking Samancor workers blocked the entrance to the mine and burnt their National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) T-shirts in Mooinooi, near Rustenburg, on Wednesday.
"We do not want NUM," they shouted as they placed the red T-shirts on a mock coffin and set them on fire.
Worker Pule Pooe said the workers no longer wanted NUM to represent them.
"The union officials failed us. They no longer serve our interest," he said.
He said the burning of the T-shirts symbolised the burial of the NUM.
Worker leader Phillip Mntombi said they had barricaded the road with rocks and logs because they had been denied access to the mine buildings to speak to management.
"The workers decided to storm the building after a committee they elected was denied access to see management. They said if management could not meet five people, it must meet all workers."
Mntombi said the workers went on strike on Friday, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.
"In total, our demand is R17 000 including allowances."
He said they demanded an underground allowance of R1 800 and a living out allowance of R1 500.
The police kept watch on the workers, who had gathered at the sports field.
A stand-off ensued when the police asked them to drop their sticks and knobkerries. Some refused and the police forcefully took the weapons. Other workers ran into the bushes with their sticks.
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