SABC News - Amcu given right to strike at three mines:Saturday 18 January 2014

Amcu given right to strike at three mines

Saturday 18 January 2014 06:27


Amcu will strike at Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum, and Impala Platinum after wage talks deadlocked. (SABC)

Labour union Amcu has been given the right to strike after its pay talks deadlocked with three separate platinum companies, the CCMA said on Friday.
Amcu had referred separate disputes with Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum, and Impala Platinum to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration in October and November last year, the commission said in a statement.

"Each dispute related to wages and conditions of employment that  parties could not reach agreement on in their respective wage negotiations."
None of the disputes could be resolved at conciliation, leading to the CCMA issuing the union with three separate non-resolution certificates. This meant the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) could embark on a protected strike after giving employers 48-hours notice, the CCMA said.
"While the disputes were not resolved at conciliation, the CCMA remains ready and willing to assist the parties in attempting to resolve the disputes."  On Monday, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said members at Impala Platinum's mines in Rustenburg were eager to go on strike.  "Our members reaffirmed the mandate to go on strike. They rejected the eight percent offered," he said.

Amcu would indicate next week if it intended serving the 48-hour  notice on the employers. The union demanded an entry-level monthly salary of R12 500. Mathunjwa said his union remained dominant at Impala, Anglo American Platinum, and Lonmin. "There is no exodus of members. The union is still intact. Reports that members are not happy are malicious," he said.

He was referring to media reports that members were leaving Amcu  because they were unhappy with the leadership. Amcu dethroned the National Union of Mineworkers as dominant union in the platinum mining belt following a violent strike at Lonmin's mines in Marikana, North West, in 2012.
A total of 44 people were killed during violence related to the strike. Thirty-four were killed on August 16, 2012 when police fired on them. Ten people, including two policemen and two security  guards, were killed in the preceding week.
President Jacob Zuma appointed retired judge Ian Farlam to chair  a commission to probe the killings. The commission is holding public hearing in Centurion, Pretoria and is expected to complete its work by April 30.

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