Lonmin: We need peace

2012-08-24 19:01

Johannesburg - A sustainable peace accord is necessary to resolve a dispute with striking Marikana mine workers, Lonmin [JSE:LON] said on Friday.

"We welcome the department of labour's efforts in facilitating the peace accord and we congratulate the department and all participants in this regard," Lonmin acting chief executive Simon Scott said in a statement.

"We are dealing with tragic and challenging issues, and will be for a long time to come, but for the sake of the company, its many thousands of employees and the industry which supports them, we need to find a sustainable peace accord which allows people to return to a working business."

He said Lonmin had committed itself to a peace deal.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant met unions and Lonmin management on Friday to discuss the peace accord.

"All the parties demonstrated willingness and resolved to see a quick and lasting resolution to this problem," she said in a statement.

The minister said everyone agreed that "urgent steps" had to be taken to facilitate peace after 34 mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded in a clash with police at the platinum miner's operation in Marikana, North West, last Thursday.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the week preceding the clash. Workers were
demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.

The parties agreed they would conclude a peace accord by Wednesday. They would start discussing the demands raised by the workers and how they could be accommodated within existing collective bargaining arrangements.

Lonmin said it would provide clarity on the wages of rock drill operators (RDOs).

"In order to ensure that Lonmin wages are market-related, the company undertook research to assess the wage level in the industry. Based on these findings, Lonmin took a decision to implement a drilling allowance of R750 per month for the RDOs, a practice which occurs in the mining industry.

"This brings the RDO guaranteed wage to just shy of R10,000 per month and is in line with other industry participants."

It said RDOs could also earn performance bonuses.

According to the company, RDOs earned a basic salary of R5405 a month. They received a pension of R80.56, a medical allowance of R556, another R1850 for housing, a R450.52 holiday leave allowance, and the R750 RDO allowance - a total of R9092.

Lonmin said it committed itself to achieving targets set out in the Mining Charter.

  • derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-08-24 19:10

    When the RDO's were bitching about their R5000 per month salary, they forgot to tell everyone about the extras......9 grand a month is a huge way up from R5000..There is something much deeper here than just the money....a lot of political football going on!!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-24 19:57

    A positive atttitude

  • cilliers.vanniekerk.1 - 2012-08-24 20:57

    What I'd like to know is who to blame for this hare-brained arrangement of management negotiating only with a single representative union that shows a simple majority of support among workers. Surely the potential for violently conflictual canvassing for worker support, and for collusion between management and the incumbent representative union is self-evident? From my frustratingly half-informed perspective, it would seem due to remarkably poor legislation, exploited by both NUM and mine management, and I sincerely hope President Zuma's Commission of Enquiry clarifies the issue, and recommends a legislative solution, for such power cannot remain, and should never have been, in the hands of parties necessarily compromised by self-interest. And I further suspect that COSATU is ultimately responsible within the Tripartite Alliance for such poor legislation, that would so advantageously permit a quite undeserved and unjust monopoly of representation. (Hence Mr. Vavi's uncharacteristic silence, followed just recently by a brisk and stealthy repair to the by now rather crowded high ground.)

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-08-25 04:12

    A fortnight ago an intransigent Lonmin refused to listen and they spoke in ultimatums and threats. Now they are listening. It's a shame it took close to 50 lives to snap their stubbornness, and now it will take even greater, even bigger additional wads of precious company profits to bring the issue to a peaceful end.

  • pierre.flyadvertising - 2012-08-25 05:07

    R9092 just shy of R10 000?????got to hate big corporate PR.this whole thing stinks.

      Leah - 2012-08-25 11:30

      Agreed. What is actual take home pay? Does the housing allowance get deducted if they stay in the hostel. Does the medical allowance go toward a medical aid. The bonus and leave pay? Sounds like a spin. Would love to see a real payslip, from top management and a miner

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