Marshals keep order at Amcu march

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Pretoria - Marshals formed a human chain around Amcu members in Marabastad ahead of their march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday.

“Comrades, order, stay within this circle,” commanded a marshal walking around hundreds of marchers.

The union is marching to the Union Buildings to hand over a petition raising its unhappiness about how government departments and mining companies have handled the Amcu strike.

Amcu members at Lonmin Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23 demanding a minimum pay of R12,500 a month.

Talks to resolve the strike via the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, have stalled.

The mining companies 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,” Amcu leader Joseph 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.”

At the march on Thursday, mineworker Jukulunga Joka from Marikana, North West, said he was more determined to fight for a living wage.

“Our fellow workers died for a living wage. I cannot betray them,” he said.

He was referring to 34 mineworkers killed by police at Marikana on August 16, 2012.

Joka held aloft a poster reading: “Our journey for a living wage is stronger than before.”

He said with R12,500 he would be able to provide for his family in the Eastern Cape.

“I am prepared to go on strike for future mineworkers to earn a decent wage,” he said. - Sapa

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