Union: Probe role of fired Lonmin workers

2012-08-20 20:09

Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity blames fired Lonmin employees for the violent illegal strike that hit the mining giant's Marikana operations.

Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said the illegal strike was not a labour issue.

'Our investigations show that dismissed ex-employees at Lonmin and Implats and people who come from nearby communities are behind this,” Du Plessis said.

He disputed widely reported claims that rock drill operators earn R4 000 a month, saying their packages were just over R10 000 with the inclusion of bonuses.

Du Plessis asked the judicial commission of inquiry announced by President Jacob Zuma to probe alleged incitement of violence by former Lonmin employees as well as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (Amcu) role in the closure of mines in the North West.

Du Plessis blamed Amcu for the violence that left a dozen mineworkers dead at the Khwezi and Impala Platinum mines earlier this year.

Solidarity has demanded Lonmin not to fire workers who were not at work this week because many stayed away due to intimidation.

Lonmin has given workers until 07:00 on Tuesday to return to work.

However, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) wants the ultimatum to be extended until this weekend.

NUM national secretary for health and safety Erick Gcilitshana said workers must only be on day shifts and not night shifts.

'The safety of workers is very important," Gcilitshana said.

Lonmin acting chief executive Simon Scott said the company wanted operations to return to normal.

"We're fully committed to getting to the bottom of this," said Mark Munroe, Lonmin's executive vice president for mining.

  • Dylan Dillboy Allison - 2012-08-20 20:18

    Well at least someone has the story closer to the real truth...

  • jim.binnie.1 - 2012-08-20 22:21

    Back to my original comments under a different News24 heading (Miners Face Murder Charges). The mining companies persist in employing workers from outside the local areas around the mines which leads to the expatriates from Lesotho, Mocambique etc living in shanty towns around the mines and the local South Africans also living in sub economic conditions. Surely it would make sense for the mining companies to get together and build training centres in each of the main mining areas to train locals for employment as opposed to expatriates. After all charity begins at home although the SA Government may not believe this in it's attempt to be the super power in the SADC region. Mr Zuma - your future is dependent on South Africa voting for you and not the SADEC. Stay at home and provide urgently needed LEADERSHIP in SA if you are capable of this task, otherwise retire to Nkandla ASAP.

  • dewalds3 - 2012-08-21 07:48

    Different perspective

  • dewalds3 - 2012-08-21 10:13

    Probe the role of the unions! Shifting blame much, Solidariteit?

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