Lonmin offers return-to-work bonus

2012-09-18 10:31

Rustenburg - Striking Lonmin workers have been offered a once-off bonus in the hope of getting them back to work, a National Union of Mineworkers (Num) negotiator said on Tuesday.

"They have been offered R1 500 once-off, which is available (until) tomorrow (Wednesday) for them to report to work," said Eric Gcilitshana.

Employees were considering the offer, he said.

Talks aimed at ending the strike, which began with normal procedural warnings on August 10, are set to resume later on Tuesday.

A revised increase amount was taken to the company on Tuesday. It was not the R12 500 workers originally wanted.

"I'm very positive and hopeful," said another facilitator, Bench Marks Foundation chairperson Bishop Jo Seoka, who is also president of the SA Council of Churches.

The Bench Marks Foundation is an independent faith-based organisation monitoring corporate performance, and is involved in the mediation process at the mine.

"Our talks were difficult on Monday. We were engaged in talks until 1am," said the striking workers' leader Zolisa Bodlani.

"We are going to report back to workers at the Wonderkop Stadium at 10am, and proceed to the negotiations," he said.

He denied a news report that workers had tabled an R11 000 demand at the negotiations.

"I cannot tell you the figure we are still negotiating," he said.

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) director Nerine Kahn told SAfm on Tuesday that were was "incredible commitment" from all parties to try and find a resolution.

"We know that the whole nation is watching," she said.

"We also would like everybody just to be a little bit patient, because it's important in the negotiations that you follow procedures and try and make sure you keep the confidentiality... so people have the opportunity to report back to their constituency and they can make decisions as opposed to hearing from the public domain."

On Monday, worker representatives said the striking workers were "not married" to their wage demand of a R12 500 monthly salary.

Kahn said she was hopeful that an agreement would be reached soon, and said there was "significant commitment".

"Everybody in the room is trying to find each other.... They are trying to find ways of ending this impasse.

"We are always hopeful. Negotiations can take time. We think there will be a solution.... We hope," she said.

Workers at Lonmin went on a wildcat strike on August 10. The strike turned violent and 10 people were killed in the first week.

Six of them were members of the National Union of Mineworkers (Num), two were security guards and two were policemen.

On August 16, 34 workers were killed when police opened fire on them, 78 were wounded. Afterwards, 270 workers were arrested.

Another man, reported to be Num shop steward was found dead last week, bring the number of people killed since the beginning of the strike to 45.

The Lonmin strike has since spread to other platinum mines in Rustenburg and to a chrome mine.

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  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-18 10:39

    I understand from the mines point the need to continue production and bring resolve. However,how on earth do you offer a "reward" for bad behaviour! This is where precidents are set for future strikes. This is sending the wrong message: "If you strike illegally and create murder and mayhem,its ok-we will bend over backwards and reward you"!!! Employ new staff. Start on a new page with workers who want to be there and want to earn an honest living!

      gary.bloom.967 - 2012-09-18 10:46

      exactly and this is an incentive to strike yet again a month or so down the line.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-09-18 10:57

      R1500.00 to come back to work after a ilegal strike. HOW many more strikes will follow. anc must be running the mine. Why not call this a grant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      msendi - 2012-09-18 11:00

      @shirley.steenkamp… A you a real South African? Imagine if the mining companies employ new stuff in this situation… They will be sending those people straight to the grave… Sometimes you have to do something you are against to avoid further damage…

      fussed.anderson - 2012-09-18 11:05

      @ msendi and the problem is what. Some people learn by there mistakes Others just dont learn

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-18 11:26

      Msendi: When you embark on an illegal strike,brandishing weapon,injuring and killing people-how do you justify rewarding that??? That is the same as giving in to terrorist hostage situations. I AM a REAL South African,who believes that people should be treated fairly,that the economy of this country affects ALL skin colours and you DONT reward rebllion!If you were a real South Africans,you might spare a thought to those who get up every morning,do an honest days work and support their families. Those whos lives are now going to be even harder due to the economic impact of this anarchy type behaviour!

      erick.mamba - 2012-09-18 11:30

      I understand your concern abt rewarding bad behaviour, however from Lonmin management perspective. They are more concerned abt the irrecoverable losses they are making due to the strike. They are in business to maximise profit to meet shareholders' needs, So the sonner the workers return to work the better.

      Joubs1957 - 2012-09-18 11:35

      msendi - The only "stuff" that will really work anyhow, will be mechanised machinery. I think that is the futur in mining in any event!

      wiscoh - 2012-09-18 11:42

      For the language 1st tym positive news come out of this...i lyk the spirit of parties involved in the negotiations. We cnt here same old story everyday without a resolve.

      why.race - 2012-09-18 11:44

      @Shirley... I believe you are missing the point here. First - The incentive rewards the return to work, not the illegal strike. Second - The incentive is way less then the wages lost, so I am not sure how this will encourage future bad behaviour. People live and work in different circumstances, and why those people carrying pangas with the intent to hurt should be punished... Large numbers of these workers are part of this through intimidation only.

      morris.khunou - 2012-09-18 14:48

      One more week of a strike! i bet they will beg to return to work! HUNGER IS THE BEST SOLUTION TO THIS MADNESS!!

      smith.celeste - 2012-09-19 09:17

      @msendi: I agree that it would cause loss of life if we replace striking workers with actual workers. Isn't it just pathetic that our police force can't even prevent people being killed for going to work? Bring back the death penalty. Make intimidation a capital offence. Make it possible for a good honest worker to go to work and feel safe instead of just letting the one who is willing to kill for it get it.

  • siyanda.yeni.5 - 2012-09-18 10:47

    Is this a genuine offer or the Lonmin is simply trying to shut the striker up? Moreover,I thought they didn't have money to meet the strikers demands!

      msendi - 2012-09-18 11:05

      And it is not wrong… Any kind of compromise is needed to deal with that situation from both the company and the workers…

      Erna - 2012-09-18 11:20

      Read carefully - they are not meeting the striker's demands! They are meeting them halfway.

      tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-18 11:27

      @Erna half way of what, what is halfway of R12500?

      wiscoh - 2012-09-18 11:45

      Whatever way, if the miners r happy, then b it.

      Erna - 2012-09-18 14:41

      @tshepo "Meeting them halfway" is a term - it doesn't necessary mean half of R12 500. Let's call it a compromise then.

  • charl.reaper - 2012-09-18 10:47

    It will be interesting to see if this get accepted. It really seems things are moving forward in the right direction. I sincerely hope the government will learn from this and understand that the general nation expects more from them in the future.

  • irvin.mkhari - 2012-09-18 10:57

    they are trying to bribe the miners.

  • Rodney - 2012-09-18 11:19

    wht's tht. An offer..., gov-labour and lonmin play games. Ppls died for 1500.

  • thembani.mabeka - 2012-09-18 11:20

    I have a question if mineworkers didn't strike they were not going to get these offers?

      Erna - 2012-09-18 14:42

      That's why everyone strikes, because it works!

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-09-18 11:22

    Lonmin has a court order that enables them to fire all the strikers. They shouldnt negotiate as this was an illegal strike.

      matli.mokoena - 2012-09-18 11:28

      to fire all the employees would be a very stupid move on Lonmin's part. the worker's have Lonmin by the balls. this has just been a game of who can hold their breath longer. just hope that this brings about a new way of thinking when it comes to labour relations.

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-09-18 11:25

    sies, R1.500 an insult to hardworking miners,

      JamesMWood - 2012-09-18 12:11

      Hahahahahahahahhaha, hard working, hahahahahahaha really? You in SA got talent comedy show?

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-18 11:26

    Mxxxm what R1500 once off bonus - all of a sudden they have R1500 to offer, reject it - dont loose focus your fighting for new salary structure not an increase or bonuses, stick to the script dont allow them to divert from the initial negotiations - R12500 or nothing

      elgh.elgh - 2012-09-18 11:39

      Yes tshepo, I agree let them fight until the gate is closed with a sign saying. We are "CLOSED"

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-18 12:41

      At least its better coz they wil nt go to money sharks for money since they dont have a salary for ths month

      Erna - 2012-09-18 14:45

      Yes, let them carry on till they all starve! It's not just the mines that are losing productivity, the workers haven't got money to feed themselves or their families and are resorting to borrowing money from loan sharks. Sometimes you just have to swallow and take the plunge. What's better - employed at X amount or unemployed? I still think employed at X amount is better than nothing.

  • sunith.varkey - 2012-09-18 11:56

    Select a group of miners that perform more skilled work and offer them "hidden bonuses" if they can convince the others to accept the current offer... work from the inside

      msika.gama.5 - 2012-09-18 14:33

      Yeah right, let them do it the SA way.

  • 009ICE - 2012-09-18 12:12

    This is exploitation,tantamount to trapping a wild animal into a cage by enticing it with a piece of steak!It defeats every purpose of negotiating for a wage increase!

  • Kagiso Spat Truthtell - 2012-09-18 12:54

    Aikhona this is bull** Lonmin really is a greedy company, y not sacrifice their own bonuses as a gesture of goodwill. All directors and shareholders should jst share their bonuses with these workers jst once. At least give them each that R12500 as a once off bonus and increase their salaries to around R9000 max

      martin.kaschula - 2012-09-18 19:51

      I hear Cyril Ramaphosa is the labour broker , why blame Lonmin.He's a theiving ANC Cadre.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-09-18 14:41

    Reward bad behavior... that'll work...

  • morris.khunou - 2012-09-18 14:42

    While consessions are important in any negotiation. I think it is a wrong approach to offer bonuses of this nature.It is like rewarding a negging child,he will neg for ever. It is not only the demand for money that stops people to go to work. Intimidation and fear for life also stops those who want to work!

  • Billy - 2012-09-18 15:28

    wow, "come back to work" on a silver platter

  • danscholtz123 - 2012-09-19 17:16

    I assume the R2000 bonus is for all that went on strike and returned to work. Am I correct if I also assume that this will be the rule from now on --- if you go on strike and you return to work you will receive a R2000 bonus. Not a bad system hey!

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