Anglo American miners block shaft

2012-10-08 16:28

Johannesburg - Striking miners briefly blocked Anglo American Platinum's only working shaft in South Africa Monday after the firm last week sacked 12 000 workers, a spokesperson said.

"I'm at the Bathopele shaft. Our shaft is the only one working," an unnamed female worker told public radio SAfm in a telephone interview.

"There are people outside fighting with the police. I'm shaken, I don't know how we will get out."

Around 800 people were trapped underground the shaft, she added.

The striking workers leader, Gaddhafi Mdoda, said the workers "decided to go and ask the managers at Bathopele to release the workers and join them so they can fight for what they are looking for together."

"They did have some fights with the cops, the cops tried to disperse them," he told AFP.

Authorities couldn't immediately confirm the incident.

Amplats, the world's top platinum producer, sacked 12 000 of 28 000 striking workers following disciplinary hearings on Friday, a day after a police crackdown left one worker dead.

Workers had downed tools on September 12 demanding wages of R16 070, more than double what some earn, and rejecting traditional union structures.

They have rejected their dismissal and vowed to keep fighting for their raise.

As workers target non-striking colleagues, a scared worker told SAfm it was too dangerous to take up her tools.

"We stay in the same area so if you are not at home they go and kill your family and still Amplats doesn't care," the worker said.

  • maverick.generators - 2012-10-08 16:42

    And the country burns while our President concentrates on building the Nkandla Castle. What a farce this country is turning to....

      yolanda.haripersad.1 - 2012-10-08 16:57

      Should we be surprised, we all knew that the country would fall apart since 1994, we just didn't know when?

      neal.vantonder - 2012-10-08 17:19

      soon he wont have enough tax money to build a toilet!

  • lumka.ntshiba - 2012-10-08 17:56

    Anglo American plz think abt the workers plz

  • biran.titus1 - 2012-10-10 06:37

    We dont mind to go back to work the problem is we are safe inside the premisis of the mine but what if their find u outside the yard,those ppl will kill you,the police care only about the property of the mine.

  • biran.titus1 - 2012-10-10 06:43

    Monday i was at Bathopele mine when our fellow workers approach our shaft,the management was so in fear running around,but still their want us to go to work,those ppl stay with us at our places their can kill us.

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