The President of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Joseph Mathunjwa, says Sibanye Stillwaters‘ wage offer is an insult to workers and is a provocation for a strike.
Mathunjwa says the merger between Sibanye and Lonmin, which was finalised earlier this year, has left workers at a disadvantage, while Lonmin executives walked away with exorbitant severance packages.
Mathunjwa was briefing the media on the ongoing wage negotiations in the platinum belt on Tuesday morning in Sandton north of Johannesburg.
In June, Amcu tabled a wage demand of R1500 for each of the next three years which would translate into a basic salary of R17 000 for the lowest paid worker over the period.
Mathunjwa says Sibanye Stillwaters’ offer, which starts at R300 in the first year, R400 in the second and R 350 in the third year, is disappointing compared to the R800 offered by Impala Platinum Mines for each of the three years.
Mathunjwa says Anglo Platinum started negotiations at R1000 for the first years.
He says negotiations with the various mining houses are still underway.
“We believe that Sibanye is trying to provoke us into a strike. Their offer for category C and D workers is shockingly low at a below inflation rate of 3.3%. Not surprisingly they were not prepared to look at any other improvement and for benefits and basic conditions of employment.”
Meanwhile, Mathunjwa says Amcu will be in Marikana on August 16th to hold a commemorative event in observation of the massacre which occurred in 2012.
“On Friday we’ll be at the Koppie, that’s August 16, 2019. Marikana is not just an incident, it was a wake up call to say that South Africa we are not free. So we’ll be there at the Koppie. That’s why we now call upon the state president, honorable Baba Ramaphosa, he should speedily recognise the 16th of August as Worker’s Day.”
Mathunjwa says engagements over the threatened de-registration of Amcu by the Labour Department is also at a progressive stage.
Earlier this year the Labour Department threatened to de-register Amcu for failing to comply with sections of the Labour Relations Act which requires the submission of audited financial statements and holding of regular elective conferences.
“The registration process, we are engaging with the Department of Labour and we are in a very progressive trajectory of which we believe we’ll find each other very soon.”
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