Amcu invited to Lonmin talks

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IOL pic sep5 lonmin worker Associated Press (File image) The Lonmin mine near Rustenburg, South Africa.

Rustenburg - Lonmin and other unions have agreed to invite Amcu and workers' representatives to participate in wage negotiations, the company said on Thursday.

“This is aimed at finding ways of addressing the demands of the striking workers,” Lonmin said in a statement.

Work attendance at the platinum mine in Marikana, North West, was at 1.65 percent across all its shafts on Thursday.

The mine said it welcomed the signing of a peace accord in the early hours of Thursday.

“This lays a firm foundation for the beginnings of the elimination of violence and intimidation, as well as a return to work,” said Lonmin.

“Given the 44 people who have already lost their lives through the labour dispute at Marikana, we hope that this will help to bring peace and stability.”

Lonmin said it hoped other parties would endorse the accord.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and Marikana workers' representatives did not sign the pact.

The accord levelled the ground for wage negotiations. It also included a commitment to create a peaceful work environment.

Protesting miners gathered in a field opposite Lonmin's Marikana mine in North West on Thursday, waiting to discuss with their representatives the implications of refusing to sign the peace accord.

Worker representative Zolisa Bodlwana said workers were concerned about wage increase negotiations.

“A peace accord will not help us workers in any way. We are not party to that,” he said.

The number of miners gathered at Wonderkop dwindled as the weather worsened, leaving less than 200 miners huddled under umbrellas in an attempt to keep dry.

As the weather deteriorated even further, the last a small pocket of protesting miners retreated to their homes by noon. The field was iced-over and roads around the mine were flooded.

Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's visit to the mine was postponed because of the rain.

Malema was to have spoken to the miners at Wonderkop and was to have welcomed the rest of the miners released from prison on Thursday. - Sapa


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