Lonmin miners heed call, go back to work

2012-08-21 07:50

Marikana - Workers trickled in Tuesday at the Lonmin [JSE:LON] platinum mine where 44 people have died in a wildcat strike, as South Africa urged the company to suspend an ultimatum to return to work.

The world's third-largest platinum miner gave 3 000 workers on an illegal strike until 07:00 on Tuesday to return to the job or face dismissal.

It has also urged its other 25 000 employees at the mine to come back, insisting on their safety.

Ten people were killed in inter-union clashes after the strike began on August 10, leading to a police crackdown Thursday that saw 34 armed miners gunned down.

Several police vans patrolled the area as workers arrived in drips and drabs. Lonmin said 27% of the workforce took up their tools on Monday.

But Collins Chabane, chief of the president's office, speaking on national radio shortly after the deadline passed, urged Lonmin to suspend its ultimatum until all the victims of the police shooting were identified and buried.

"In our discussion with the mine management, we did express to them and we thought they understood, that at this point in time I think we need to try to temper the flare-up of emotions on all sides and try to find a reasonable solution to address the problems," he said.

"And therefore in the context of the mourning of the people who passed away as a result of this strike, we thought it was important for them to consider the issue of suspending the deadline, and we thought they had agreed, and we will confirm with them this morning what happened."

President Jacob Zuma has declared a week of mourning with nationwide memorials planned for Thursday.

Six bodies have yet to be identified, but authorities said they hoped that the process would be completed by Wednesday in time for the memorials.

*Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  • mike.dufham.7 - 2012-08-21 08:08

    Time to start the retrenchment process

  • benjamin.doyle.351 - 2012-08-21 08:31

    Yep....those unions & Malema can't fill empty stomachs, only work and R4000, hey???

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-08-21 08:46

      The union Solidarity claims these workers earn up to R10 000 p/m with bonusses, not such a bad pay for the uneducated? I would not be surprised if some unemployed white men might decide to become miners (Gideon Du Plessis union leader 20/8/2012).

      louw.pretorius.54 - 2012-08-21 13:18

      According to Solidarity the striking miners earn between R10 000 and R16 000 (Monthly bonus included) per month. The R4 000 per month comes from a journalist that did not verify his facts.

  • fanie.brink.5 - 2012-08-21 08:58

    The ANC will find it from now on much more terrible and regrettable to sleep in the bed that they have made for themselves!! The country will become more and more ungovernable and more and more ready for a revolution. Hello Libia!!!

      kgomotso.matlaila.7 - 2012-08-21 10:02

      I dont think so

      fanie.brink.5 - 2012-08-21 11:35

      Don't think just watch!!

  • prieurp34 - 2012-08-21 09:20

    I see the miners learned their lessons, no they have no weapons today! All sitting down like school kids, no chanting and mad behavior! Why didn't they do this from the start then no lives would have been lost! Let this be a lesson to all strikers that think they can get away with murder in this country, your running wild spree has ended right here and note that it will not be tolerated!

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-08-21 09:21

    Deon - believe it or not, there are white men doing the same work as them. Earning the same money.

  • phae.rayden - 2012-08-21 10:46

    The ANC is looking dazed and confused, and loosing its grip on all sides of the situation. Instructing people how, when and what to do is not exactly an intelligent solution to this potential time bomb. Whoever is advising government needs to be urgently replaced with people who hold deeper insight and skills.

  • pages:
  • 1