Amcu march prompts road closures

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Independent Newspapers

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa is joined by union members. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - Traffic will be diverted at the southern entrance of Melrose Arch, at Atholl Oaklands Road, on Thursday for a protest by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Johannesburg metro police said.

“Atholl Oaklands Road will be completely closed to traffic from the M1 freeway to Kernick Avenue from 9am to 2pm,” chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

“Motorists can use Oxford Road as an alternative route for today. Officers have been deployed to monitor the protest and to guide traffic.”

Amcu was expected to hand over a memorandum at Lonmin’s offices in Melrose Arch.

The protests would expand to Parliament after the Easter holidays if the union's demands were not met.

Amcu-affiliated members working in the platinum mining sector have been on strike for over two months, demanding a minimum wage of R12 500 a month.

On March 27, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said the union had given Amplats until April 5 to respond to the demands.

The labour union marched to Impala Platinum's head office in Illovo, Johannesburg, to hand a memorandum to the company on March 27.

A meeting was held at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Monday, attended by the platinum producers and Amcu.

On Tuesday, the CCMA said the ongoing strike in the platinum sector would continue following a meeting between employers, Amcu and the CCMA.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said progress to settle the dispute and end the strike could only be made if Amcu moved towards the “settlement zone of nine percent”.

Impala Platinum spokesman Johan Theron said in a statement the parties were still far apart following the meeting.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum, and Impala Platinum downed tools on January 23 to push for a basic monthly salary of R12 500. They had so far rejected a wage increase of up to nine percent.

The companies, in turn, rejected Amcu's revised demand that the R12 500 could be achieved over four years.

Last week, mining bosses said the strike had caused irreparable harm, and caused loss of an estimated R10 billion in revenue. - Sapa


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