Lonmin’s Marikana
mine, where 34 striking
miners were shot dead
by police in August last
Johannesburg, South Africa — 12 April 2013 – Chief executives of South African platinum mining companies are to meet with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Monday to discuss a proposed centralised bargaining structure.

AMCU signalled its unwillingness to participate in such a structure in a letter to the Chamber of Mines two weeks ago, and Chamber of Mines spokesperson Elize Strydom “’ quoted by Fin24 “’ said next week’s meeting was aimed at breaking the deadlock.

“The purpose of the meeting is to understand why AMCU doesn’t want to participate in the centralised structure, and to try to convince them it is in the best interests of workers and the industry that they do,” she explained.

Amcu national treasurer Jimmy Gama expressed doubt that centralised bargaining would improve the challenges facing the platinum sector.

“Even for the gold mines there are still problems, so for the Chamber of Mines to say that by taking platinum mines into centralised bargaining it will create peace, that’s misleading “’ it doesn’t have logic,” he said.

Anglo American Platinum has granted AMCU similar recognition rights to those held by the previous majority union, the National Union of Mineworkers.

Gama said AMCU had approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration regarding its recognition agreement with Lonmin, and would do the same with Implats.

Implats personnel head Johan Theron said the CCMA could help break the deadlock but, with wage talks looming, this approach could be time-consuming.

Last year, violence erupted at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in a strike apparently linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and AMCU.

Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were injured when the police opened fire while trying to disperse a group which had gathered on a hill near the mine. Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.