Association of mineworkers and construction union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse.

Johannesburg - Although the strike was daunting, the unity of striking workers was humbling, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Tuesday.

“Despite the many sacrifices, we are humbled by the unity of platinum workers who showed maturity throughout the strike,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We were encouraged and motivated by the resilience of our members.”

He said there had initially been mistrust between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and producers.

“We thank everyone who provided leadership at the critical stage (of the process).”

The agreement had ushered in a paradigm shift in the collective bargaining structure.

“One of the fundamental milestones was the shift in the mindset of the media over the matter.”

He claimed initially media and the public thought the union was being unreasonable in its demand for a R12,500 monthly wage, but were persuaded as the strike continued.

“There were hostile forces initially.”

Court applications, stringent picketing rules by companies, arrests and the shooting of some union leaders had made the strike difficult.

“Amcu has redefined the role of mass action and unity over the past five months.” - Sapa