SACP calls for end to platinum strike

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IOL pic apr25 platinum strike Reuters Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa (centre, green shirt) joins striking miners in song after addressing them outside a Lonmin mine in Rustenburg. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - Platinum mining companies must engage genuinely with all the affected parties in the four-month-long wage dispute in the sector, the SA Communist Party (SACP) said on Sunday.

Spokesman Alex Mashilo said parties must ensure that a collective bargaining agreement was reached with immediate effect.

“Instead of being intransigent, the mining corporations, which have previously made billions of rands, must appreciate the plight of the workers by improving their working and living conditions through decent work, including better wages and benefits.”

He said the SACP called on the trade unions involved to stop gambling with the lives and jobs of the workers.

“Such unguided militancy has the potential to lead to job losses and roll back the many gains made by mineworkers, especially since 1994.”

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala, and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in Rustenburg in the North West province and Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by July 2017.

The strike has cost employees R8.6 billion in earnings and companies have lost R19.5bn in revenue according to a website, platinumwagenegotiations.co.za, created by the companies.

Labour Court brokered mediation talks between Amcu and the companies were ongoing, after no agreement was reached on Friday.

Platinum producers said on Friday they were committed to finding a common commitment to resolve the dispute.

The strike, now on its 122nd day, has been marred by violence and intimidation leading to the deaths of five NUM members.

“The SACP further calls upon workers not to be used in turning against other workers,” Mashilo said.

He said the SACP was gravely concerned with, and also strongly condemned, the intimidation, torture, violence and killings that continue to take place in the Rustenburg platinum belt.

Sapa



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