African News
Striking S.African mineworkers reject wage offer
Publish Date: Jan 30, 2014
Striking S.African mineworkers reject wage offer
The striking miners Photo by AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Marikana (South Africa) - South Africa's platinum mineworkers rejected a fresh wage offer at a public meeting Thursday, and vowed to continue a week-long strike that has brought the sector to a stand-still.


Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union crowded into a platinum belt stadium to hear details of a deal firms were hoping would end a stoppage costing each of them as much as $9 million a day.

Anglo Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin-- the world's top three producers -- have proposed wage increases of at least seven percent for each of the next three years.

But members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union gave the offer short shrift.

Informed of the terms by leaders, the stadium erupted with jeers and with a cry of "asiyi" meaning we are not going back.

"We've been mandated to go back to the drawing board," said AMCU's Lonmin branch secretary Reuben Lesejane. "The strike will end after our demands are met, for now the strike continues."

An estimated 80,000 workers downed tools last Thursday, prompting the government to call talks between the union and the top three mining firms.

The union has called for a basic monthly minimum wage of 12,500 rand ($1,150), around double the current amount.

It is the same demand that spurred 2012 strikes, which resulted in the police shooting dead 34 miners on one day.

The mood inside the stadium was one of defiance.

"The employers still do not want to give what we want," said Lonmin employee Zenzo Mathale.

"The companies don't get it," he said. "They only want profits. Things can't go on like this... but we are prepared to fight."

Amos Letsi said the strike was hurting workers, who were not getting paid, but he vowed to press on.

"Our demand is very clear, we want a living wage, nothing else," said Amos Letsi. "People died for this, no one listens."

Mine bosses who have shut down operations have appealed with the union to consider the offer, saying its demand was "simply not feasible in the foreseeable future."

(AFP)

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Army
The Nigerian army says it has freed 178 people being held hostage by Boko Haram including more than 100 children....
Kenya marathon stars march for peace
John Kelai became a runner to escape a hard and dangerous life in northern Kenya....
Zimbabwe seeks US hunter
Palmer paid $55,000 for the hunt earlier this month in which he shot the lion with a powerful bow and arrow....
Obama visit was a security
KENYA''S police chief on Tuesday admitted that US President Barack Obama''s weekend visit to Kenya was a security "nightmare"...
Burundi presidential vote
A United Nations observer mission said Monday that last week''s presidential elections in Burundi were relatively peaceful but had not been "an inclusive free and credible" vote...
Obama to wade into South Sudan peace drive
US President Barack Obama will on Monday try to build African support for tough action against South Sudan''s warring leaders...
Should faith based organisations be registered as Non-government organisations?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter