Amplats strike to escalate

2012-10-14 13:29

Johannesburg - Striking Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats) workers will not suspend their strike, the Rustenburg Joint Strike Co-ordinating Committee said on Sunday.

"We are not going to be intimidated into submission. We are not going to participate in any form of disciplinary hearing," said spokesperson Mametlwe Sebei.

He said the disciplinary hearing was a threat aimed at forcing the workers to abandon the strike.

"We will engage management on issues relating to our demand, which is a R16 000 salary [at Amplats mines]."

He said the only way to resolve issues affecting mineworkers in South Africa was to nationalise the mines.

"The only way to deal with the cheap migrant labour legacy is to allow mine workers to own these mine through nationalisation."

Sebei said he would be visiting other mines to push forward their demand for a basic salary of R12 500.

"I will be at mines in Limpopo, Free State and Carletonville from Monday."

On Saturday, he told reporters in Marikana that the strike in the mining sector was continuing despite threats of dismissal.

"No amount of threats or deaths can stop us, we are determined to continue with the strike."

Sebei said a meeting of the strike committees in all mines in the country had agreed to intensify the strike.

"We have agreed to escalate the strike, we are going to shut down the bit that is still operating. All workers in the country must be paid a minimum of R12 500. We are calling for a minimum wage for all workers."

It was agreed that workers should embark on a national strike in November to push for a minimum wage. The national strike was planned for November 3.

Sebei, who is from the Democratic Socialist Movement, denied they had "hijacked" the mineworkers strike.

"We are in solidarity with the workers. Four weeks after the Marikana strike, we saw that no one was standing up for the workers and we offered them solidarity."

He said his movement would canvas international support for mineworkers.

"We will call for a solidarity march at SA embassies abroad, the day workers stage a national strike. It is not fair that mineworkers are living in poor condition while the bosses' pets are far better off."

The committee made up of leaders from different mines in Rustenburg, met with other leaders from mines in Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga with a view of forming a national committee to speak for mineworkers, when the strikes were over.

"We need to have a constitution that will guide us to deal with those who left the structures once issues at their mines have been resolved," said Evan Ramokga, one of the leaders.

He said leaders at mines that were still operating should not expose strikers to arrest by leading them to shut down the mines.

"Do not use the wildcat [strikes], you expose them to arrest. Rather come to us to share ideas. We know how to shut the mines. The aim is to stop smelters from operating."

Amplats has fired 12 000 workers for failing to attend disciplinary hearings.

On Friday, Amplats said the four-week long strike had cost it R1.1bn in revenue.

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  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-10-14 14:57

    These misinformed miners believe that when the mines are nationalized they will all receive an Absa Banking Account with six figures deposited into their name. Little do they realize, that for starters they will have to work twice as hard if they need to get paid at the end of every month. If the mine does'nt operate they dont get paid. Who is going to actually take care of the admin etc ....Corrupt people who will steal from the company and then fool the miners. Oh wake up you stupid stupid people. This is 2012 not 1220. They do not have a clue what nationalization means they only have malema's word for it and even he is a dumb arse. I really cant wait for these miners to feel the repercussions of their actions.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-10-14 15:32

    Its not going happen and someone is going to be very dissapointed. This farce must stop. Haven't enough people been killed yet? The amount is not deliverable, if it happened the mined would go bust.

  • melanie.declercq.16 - 2012-10-14 20:03

    The government should in co-operation with the mining companies send out a strong message to encourage all miners to go back to work and start hiring again and set a clear deadline. Immediately the government should send large police squads (or even the army) to stop all attempts by unions that prevent strikebreakers to go back to work. If local police is too sympathetic to the miners they should bring in police from distance cities. Violence should be used if necessary, as the government can claim that they uphold national law and protect individual civil rights. Strikers who obstruct strikebreakers to work should be arrested and charged.

  • David Steyn - 2012-10-15 08:10

    I agree. Nationalise the mines and you can all get a big fat salary, you can all be bosses,managers and supervisors and you can then give your families whatever they want for ever and ever more. What a fantastic recipe to success. I can not believe that anyone can be against this.

  • Phindile Manganyi - 2012-10-15 11:38

    Juju has been cloned,this is a national crisis that wont end properly,I fear war in SA & formation of rebels to disarm the government!!This is getting excessively dangerous

  • neal.vantonder - 2012-10-16 12:06

    Why are they still striking, they are fired. This appears unclear to them!

  • guyp1 - 2012-10-16 12:13

    These people who actually believe that they will be getting a raise after striking the way they do, and then still saying that they will make it impossible for AMPLAT to hire anyone else, do they really think that they will be hired back and given a raise after all the crap that they have caused? Not only that, the fact that there are people in power who are equally as stupid to rally more people to strike without being able to see that this could push South Africa into a heavy recession... I'd love to see how happy the workers will be then, when they cant even get paid the salary they had before the strike, not to mention not get a job at all for a while. One more thing, these dumb people and the people in power are spreading this "strike" crap to other sectors, only speeding up the economic downfall of our country. Where do they come from and how the hell do they manage to gain so much power with the I.Q. of a limp wet noodle? It seems some just want to continue the stupidity that Malema brought to the table. If anyong is looking for me, I'll be in my well stocked bunker during the future wars that will inevitably break out in SA due to all those involved. Good luck.

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