Lonmin hopes strike will end

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AngloPlatStrike Reuters.

Rustenburg - Lonmin is hopeful there will be a resolution to the almost four-month-old wage strike in the platinum sector, spokeswoman Lerato Molebatsi said on Thursday.

“We want to assure our employees that there will be resolution to the strike.”

She said the only way to end the strike was by negotiating with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

“The strike can be resolved by negotiating with Amcu. Government's involvement through the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration) is helping us to find each other. There will be a resolution to the strike.”

She said the company had temporarily stopped sending text messages to employees to review the risks associated with the sms system.

Lonmin sent text messages to employees asking them to indicate whether they would accept the 9.5 percent the company had tabled as the final offer.

Lonmin set May 14 as the day for workers who would accept the 9.5 percent to return to work.

“We will continue to communicate with our employees, they are our employees before they are Amcu members.”

Molebatsi said the company was worried about the level of violence associated with the strike.

“Our employees have a right to go on strike and they must respect the rights of those who are not on strike and want to work.”

She said the company had provided buses to transport people to work and the buses were escorted by security guards to and from work.

She could not indicate how many people reported for duty on Wednesday.

Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum went on strike on strike on January 23 demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

On Wednesday Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa appealed for calm and peace.

This was after three mineworkers and a female security guard were killed in Bapong over the weekend.

A mineworker, who identified himself only as Alfenso from Mozambique, said he went home in January and only returned on Sunday ready to go to work but was scared after he saw the body of a woman killed in Bapong.

In a cellphone picture the woman's head was smashed with a rock and her stomach ripped open.

“I do not want to die like that. For my safety I did not report to work.”

Maria Ntuli of Nkaneng settlement in Wonderkop at Marikana in the North West, said people were worried they would starve to death because of the strike.

“My husband does not earn a living anymore. We depends on grants,” she said.

She received child support grants for her three children which was not enough to support her family.

Mineworker Alfred Ncula from the Eastern Cape said he had sold some of his goats to have money to survive through the strike.

“I'm not going to work without R12,500. We have been on strike for a long time to give up now.”

He said he would continue to sell his goats until he returned to work. - Sapa

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