Johannesburg, South Africa — 21 August 2012 – Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) CEO Steve Phiri says the company isn’t taking any chances on security following its own labour-related situation last week when rock drill operators (RDOs) made the same demands that their peers at Lonmin have called for.
Miningmx reports that Phiri was presenting the group’s interim results for the half-year to 30 June 2012 here, and was asked what the status was of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at RBPlat’s BRPM mine, and whether the group had received any demands from the union.
An initial illegal strike on 10 August by some 3,000 rock drill operators at Lonmin’s Marikana operations was the catalyst for a week of violence during which 42 mineworkers and 2 police officers were killed. The rock drill operators are mostly members of AMCU. Lonmin’s RDOs have reportedly demanded that their monthly salary to be increased from R4,000 to R12,500.
“…there is an intention or request by AMCU to organise at our mine,” Phiri said. “Those signs have not turned into something violent or aggressive, but we do recognise that things may turn ugly in a copy cat kind of event.”
Phiri said the company’s RDOs made similar salary demands last week. “That situation was quelled,” Phiri added. “We’re not saying it disappeared, it may come up again, but fortunately our trade unions are addressing those issues together with management.”
Phiri said the company nonetheless remained on high-alert and has consulted with the South African Police Service to heighten security at the mine. “We are not immune to the events that have been happening at Impala and Lonmin, and we are not complacent just because it has not happened yet at our mine,” he stated.
“We are in a state of emergency,” he said. “If we need to err on the side of caution we will do so. We don’t want people to die with their blood on our hands.”
Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.