‘We will shut down Amplats’
There seems to be no end in sight to the two-month-long strike at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) after workers yesterday vowed not to return to work despite the company making a new wage offer.
More than 12 000 workers have been on an illegal strike at the platinum giant’s operations in Rustenburg for the past two months.
They are demanding a R16 000 monthly salary.
Yesterday, a crowd of more than 4 000 striking mine workers from Amplats, Xstrata and Limpopo’s Bokone Platinum gathered in sweltering heat at the Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg for a rally organised by the strike coordinating committee and the Democratic Left Front (DLF).
The DLF, whose leadership includes social activist Trevor Ngwane, is an umbrella organisation of various social and workers’ organisations including the Democratic Socialist Movement, which has been working with the strike coordinating committee in mobilising workers.
Mametlwe Sebei of the DSM said the aim of the rally was “to mobilise workers and assure them that their struggle was still going ahead”.
Sebei said negotiations with Amplats had deadlocked on Friday night after the company offered the workers a R4 500 taxable “return to work” payment offer if they returned to work tomorrow.
Various speakers representing the strike committees from different regions told workers at the rally they had to bring operations at Amplats to a standstill until demands were met.
A similar rally, organised by trade union federation Cosatu a fortnight ago, was marred by violence when marchers were attacked by a group believed to be opposed to the Cosatu-affiliated National Union
The strike coordinating committee said it had extended an invitation to the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to the rally.
Numsa representatives were present at the rally, but Amcu’s bosses did not make an appearance.
There were no violent incidents reported at yesterday’s rally and police maintained a strong presence outside the stadium.