Amcu gathers for Union Buildings march

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AmcuStrikeAllGreen Independent Newspapers. Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Pretoria - Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) gathered at Marabastad in Pretoria on Thursday ahead of a march to the Union Buildings.

Dressed in green union T-shirts they sang songs calling for prayers for union leader Joseph Mathunjwa.

Some stamped their feet on the ground and waved umbrellas in the air, while other clapped hands as they sang.

Some held up posters highlighting their plight.

“If Lonmin cannot afford R12,500 they must leave our country. We are sweating underground,” one proclaimed.

Another read: “Zuma, enjoy R206 million while we suffer.”

Amcu members in the platinum mining sector have been on strike since January 23 to demand a R12,500 minimum salary a month.

The mining companies -- Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum (Implats) -- have offered staggered increases of seven to nine percent over the next three years.

On Tuesday, Amcu said it had revised its demand and that the R12,500 minimum monthly salary could now be achieved over three years.

“We are not exactly reducing our demand. Our move is meant to give the employers a breather,” Mathunjwa told reporters in Johannesburg.

However, the companies rejected Amcu's revised demand.

The platinum producers' chief executives said the revised Amcu demand was not affordable.

“We remain far apart. The revised demand by Amcu of an average basic wage increase of between 25 percent to 35 percent year-on-year over a four-year period remains unaffordable.”

The union will march to the Union Building on Thursday to hand over a petition raising its unhappiness about how government department and mining companies have handled the strike.

They have been bussed to Pretoria from platinum mines in Rustenburg and Limpopo.

Police watched from a distance as the workers gathered.

Union marshals dressed in reflective jackets held a meeting to discuss how they would control the crowd. - Sapa



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