We need peace: Lonmin

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THE STAR

Mineworkers lie dead after they were shot by police near near the Wonderkop informal settlement near Rustenburg. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Rustenburg -

A sustainable peace accord is necessary to resolve a dispute with striking Marikana mine workers, Lonmin said on Friday.

“We welcome the department of labour's efforts in facilitating the peace accord and we congratulate the department and all participants in this regard,” Lonmin acting chief executive Simon Scott said in a statement.

“We are dealing with tragic and challenging issues, and will be for a long time to come, but for the sake of the company, its many thousands of employees and the industry which supports them, we need to find a sustainable peace accord which allows people to return to a working business.”

He said Lonmin had committed itself to a peace deal.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant met unions and Lonmin management on Friday to discuss the peace accord.

“All the parties demonstrated willingness and resolved to see a quick and lasting resolution to this problem,” she said in a statement.

The minister said everyone agreed that “urgent steps” had to be taken to facilitate peace after 34 mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded in a clash with police at the platinum miner's operation in Marikana, North West, last Thursday.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the week preceding the clash. Workers were demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.

The parties agreed they would conclude a peace accord by Wednesday. They would start discussing the demands raised by the workers and how they could be accommodated within existing collective bargaining arrangements.

Lonmin said it would provide clarity on the wages of rock drill operators (RDOs).

“In order to ensure that Lonmin wages are market-related, the company undertook research to assess the wage level in the industry. Based on these findings, Lonmin took a decision to implement a drilling allowance of R750 per month for the RDOs, a practice which occurs in the mining industry.

“This brings the RDO guaranteed wage to just shy of R10,000 per month and is in line with other industry participants.”

It said RDOs could also earn performance bonuses.

According to the company, RDOs earned a basic salary of R5405 a month. They received a pension of R80.56, a medical allowance of R556, another R1850 for housing, a R450.52 holiday leave allowance, and the R750 RDO allowance -a total of R9092.

Lonmin said it committed itself to achieving targets set out in the Mining Charter. - Sapa


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