Amcu excluded from Lonmin talks - claim

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lonmin force Independent Newspapers File picture: A man armed with home-made spears standing in front of a seated multitude of striking workers in the violent-torn Lonmin?s Marikane mines. Tiro Ramatlhatse

Rustenburg - The Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) claimed on Wednesday that Lonmin and the NUM had excluded it from talks on the strike at Marikana.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Amcu were to have met on Tuesday night, Amcu president Joseph Mathenjwa said.

“We waited for at least two hours at Lonmin offices, only to see National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana emerge from a meeting with management,” he said.

Mathenjwa said Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA leader Phathekile Holomisa had asked the unions and management for talks on Tuesday night.

Lonmin could not be reached for comment late on Wednesday.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said he did not know anything about the meeting, but said Amcu did not have the bargaining rights at Marikana which would enable it to negotiate with the employer.

“They only have bargaining rights at Lonmin's Karee mine, not Marikana. Amcu does not have representation at Marikana,” Seshoka said.

Amcu met Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant in Rustenburg on Wednesday. Oliphant said in a statement that the meeting was “to defuse the tensions” at Marikana mine.

“The meeting was cordial... Amcu told us their side of the story and problems they are confronted with at the mines. We resolved to continue talking. We will involve other unions in a bid to find a lasting solution.”

On Thursday, 34 workers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police tried to disperse striking miners in Marikana. Another 10 people, including two police officers, were killed in the preceding week. - Sapa



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