Solidarity strike for Amcu

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AmcuStrikeAllGreen Independent Newspapers. Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - Trade unions affiliated to the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) are considering a solidarity strike to back Amcu, the federation said on Monday.

“Our unions are meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss a solidarity strike to back Amcu,” Nactu president Joseph Maqhekeni said.

“We want to intensify the strike. The employer is not coming up with anything even though Amcu has revised its demand to be achieved over four years.”

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is an affiliate of Nactu.

Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) downed tools on January 23 to push for a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They rejected the companies' wage hike of up to nine percent.

In return the companies rejected Amcu's revised demand that the R12,500 could be achieved over four years, stating that the demand was unaffordable and amounted to a 30 percent increase.

“We waited, hoping the mines will come with something. Amcu has revised the demand to be achieved in four years, which in our view is fair,” he said.

Nactu has 22 unions affiliated to it.

The strike in the platinum mines in Rustenburg, North West and Northam in Limpopo is on its second month.

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

The CCMA ruled that parties were too far apart.

On Tuesday, Amcu marched to Amplats head office in Johannesburg demanding that the company accede to its demand and return to negotiations.

The company was given until March 24 to respond to the demand.

On March 7, Amcu took the strike to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and handed over a petition raising its unhappiness about how government departments and mining companies had handled their strike.

The R12,500 wage demand stems from a strike at Lonmin's Marikana operation in 2012 when workers abandoned the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and went on a wildcat strike.

The strike turned violent and 44 people were killed, 34 mineworkers being killed on August 16, 2012 when the police fired at them.

Ten, including two policemen and two security guards, died in the preceding week.

President Jacob Zuma has appointed retired judge Ian Farlam to chair a commission probing the Marikana shooting.

The commission's public hearings are held in Pretoria and it is expected to conclude its work by April 30. - Sapa



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