Amcu boycotts peace accord

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Lonmin

REUTERS

Striking platinum mineworkers gather for a report back on negotiations at Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa's North West Province, August 29, 2012.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) will not sign the peace accord brokered by the department of labour, its president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Thursday.

“We have no fight with anyone. Let the police, Lonmin management and the workers signed the peace agreement,” he said.

The labour department called for the meeting with Lonmin management, striking workers' representatives and four unions, including Amcu, to try and find a solution to the Lonmin strike.

The other unions were: the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity, and Uasa.

Speaking after the meeting adjourned on Thursday, Mathunjwa said he felt as if Amcu had been sidelined in the talks and it would be no part of them going forward.

“We were told to stay outside the meeting from 1pm. At 6pm we asked how long will we be outside and we were told to wait for 30

minutes. We are now surprised to see delegates walking out of the plenary.”

Mathunjwa said he suspected that striking workers' representatives were being “pushed around”.

“The meeting did not deliberate on the issue raised by the workers,” he said.

The National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu), to which Amcu is affiliated, earlier said the workers' demand was proper and legitimate.

Workers at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana went on strike on August 10, demanding a salary of R12,500 a month.

“We will negotiate for our members. The only barrier is the salary agreement signed, which Amcu was not party to. We want the parties involved in the agreement to unlock it so that Amcu can participate,” said Nactu president Joseph Maqhekeni.

Workers' representatives spokesman Zolisa Bodlani told workers in the morning that the unions had agreed to re-open salary negotiations.

Two weeks ago, police opened fire on a group of protesting miners, killing 34 of them and wounding 78. In the preceding week, 10 people were killed, two of them policemen and two security guards.

Another 270 were arrested. They have since been charged with murdering their colleagues.

In a statement, the labour department said the issues discussed at the meeting were of a vast nature and had required several processes and various engagements with different constituencies in the process.

“The workers representatives will report back on Monday, and the plenary will meet at 2pm (on Monday),” it said in the statement. - Sapa


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