More miners demand R12 500

2012-09-11 16:22

Johannesburg - There was a production standstill at shafts owned by two of the biggest mining companies operating in South Africa on Tuesday as the call for miners' pay to be increased to R12 500 spread.

At Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] KDC West, near Carletonville, instead of heeding a Labour Court interdict to return to their posts, striking workers flocked to a stadium to hear expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema speak.

He called for a national mine strike and the removal of union leadership.

"There must be a national strike at all the mines until [National Union of Mineworkers (Num) general secretary] Frans Baleni and the Num leadership step down with immediate effect," Malema said.

On Sunday, 75% of the 15 000 people working at the gold mine downed tools. One of their demands was that Num's branch leadership be removed.

"The problem is not Num. The problem is the leadership who take money from mlungu [whites]," said Malema, who was ushered in by a singing, chanting crowd when he arrived in a black SUV.

Malema said the R12 500 salary workers wanted "is a reality".

He said people had been stealing gold from the workers. "Now you want a piece of gold. You want R12 500."

He said workers should strike for five days a month "until they listen".

Before his address, the Num said it had not received complaints about the branch before.

Comment could not immediately be obtained from the Num or Gold Fields after the address.

Workers went to a hostel for a meeting after Malema's talk, and returned to a field later.

Workers told reporters: "We are not going to give them any production [if they don't respond with the increase]."

Meanwhile, at Lonmin [JSE:LON], only 3% of its 28 000-strong workforce at Rustenburg turned up on Tuesday, as a strike there entered its second month.

Unions and the company had hoped to see a return to the negotiating table on Monday, even though workers had not met the precondition that they return to their posts.

However, representatives of a splinter group did not arrive.

A meeting was held at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration's (CCMA's) office's in Rustenburg on Tuesday with the employer representatives and clergymen.

The CCMA did not want to provide further details.

Trade union Solidarity said that, typically, in a prolonged strike, workers would have to approach their creditors to explain why they could not pay their bills.

However, the Gift of the Givers charity was distributing food to workers at Lonmin.

According to an employee representative, there was chaos at one of the distributions.

Further afield, mine management at Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] said it would consider the demands of a group of workers which wanted a second pay hike in six months.

"Our overriding imperative in this process is to ensure peace, order and stability. We believe that current tensions are an issue for the entire industry," chief executive Terence Goodlace said in a statement.

The company met the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union-aligned Interim Workers' Committee (IWC) on Monday to discuss its demands.

Outside the mining industry, Eskom's Medupi power station in Lephalale village in Limpopo was closed on Tuesday following a protest by a group of disgruntled contract workers.

The workers began protesting because the contracts of about 600 local employees were due to end.

Medupi is expected to start generating power for the national grid next year.

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  • christelle.james.7 - 2012-09-11 16:36

    And then mlungu money runs out.......what then???

      Sarel Cilliers - 2012-09-11 17:37

      fire all of them close the mines and lets see who will support juju

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-09-11 22:01

      He complains about the mlungu money but he also fails to mention that the Government costs us R657 Billion due to corruption... Source

      jo.barton.92 - 2012-09-12 08:03

      Don't give them production and they won't give you money.There is only one loser here and it's not the mine owners.During those 5 days off, malema will still eat, and you won't have food for your families.

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-09-11 16:40

    Obviously Malema is as blind as he is stupid. Somebody needs to squash him like the cockroach he is.

      rob.mugabe.5817 - 2012-09-11 18:34

      That word cockroach is very dangerous.I hope u will stand by what you want to start.

      louiseroger.higham - 2012-09-12 08:33

      Fat, stupid, greedy andan attention seeker and the press is falling for it.

  • johan.vanheerden.737 - 2012-09-11 16:44

    First steps to Nationalisation?

  • nerasmus1 - 2012-09-11 16:56

    Being derogatory towards the parties involved will not solve anything at this point. Where is the mob of real disadvantaged and unemployed individuals, willing to work for that R4000 per month? This is their time for a counter action. These people want a fair battle, I say let's give them one.

  • gerald.king.589 - 2012-09-11 17:03

    Newsflash if you want that kind of money you're gone have to do something for it, and you always CAN. Look at your bosses as proof, they did something right? A spoilt brat who wants your mine, your jobs, your future, all for his insatiable enrichment won't tell you that. Never.

  • alan.cargen - 2012-09-11 17:13

    awesome... give them ALL R12500 but then take away their housing subsidies, their medical aid (if they get it) and anything else that they get as part of their package.

  • wynandjsmit - 2012-09-11 17:39

    Close all the mines and let RSA implode faster!!! Love every bit of this!!!

  • juicecard.tshaka - 2012-09-11 18:08

    When we are talking about the world`s 2nd and 3rd largest producing mines R12500 is very reasonable.

  • - 2012-09-11 18:52

    What do the families of the 10 people killed by the miners get? Malema you are a common thug. In case you forgot, someone got hacked to death by thugs pretending to be strikers no doubt.

  • julie.j.vanrensburg - 2012-09-12 05:09

    The unions are greatly responsible for labour unrest and price increases, forever demanding unrealistic salary increases, and if teir "demands" aren't met, they destroy, trash and burn everything in sight. Not only that, but they terrorise people who WANT to work... These unionists should all be sent packing and others who cannot get jobs, cannot feed their families, be given those jobs. They would be only TOO happy to earn R4000 p.m. to provide for their families. Get rid of Vavi and his cohorts - it wold be interesting to know how much he skims off from the millions the members pay in subs every month. Question - what DOES happen to all that membership money as the strikers certainly don't get it back???

  • hendrick.mokwale - 2012-09-12 06:04

    B4 Marikana,evribody thought workin on a mine means makin a lota moola underground.coincidentialy

  • jenny.joubert.77 - 2012-09-16 20:25

    i wonder whether mining companies can afford paying the 12500 rand per miner would paying directors of such mines less tham the millions they get make such payments to miners possible i heard somewhere reviously that certain high profiled director/s from miming sectors have raked in 3- five bilion each in bonuses every 4- 5 years.( remember reading such figure in sunday daily news a few years ago)

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