Mining companies accuse Amcu of stalling progress

by Trust Matsilele 0

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says it is continuing with its incessant strike now entering its 15th week.

President Jacob Zuma recently urged Amcu to end the strikes saying the continued industrial action was not in the interest of its members and the economy.

The mining companies, [DATA LON:Lonmin], [DATA AMS:Amplats] and [DATA IMP:Impala] noted in a joint statement that the strike has cost employees some 7.3 billion rand in lost income with the producers recording around 16.4 billion rand in lost revenue.

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s AMCU union revises wage demands)

“The companies call on Amcu leadership to take responsibility for discouraging, threatening or other criminal behaviour directed either against their own members or against management staff seeking to persuade their members to return to work,” read the statement.

“Amcu’s decision is disappointing as the companies’ efforts to develop a new offer that is affordable and sustainable was designed to come as close as possible to meeting the union’s demand.”

The platinum mining giants accused Amcu of not making effort toward resolving the endless strikes.

It is alleged that employees have been contacting the companies notifying them of the willingness to return to work but registering fears of backlash from sections associated to union leaders.

“We have received feedback from a large number of employees that while they would prefer to accept the offer and return to work, many are fearful of doing so due to the threats to their personal safety. The respective company security teams have documented dozens of incidents.”

“There have been numerous assaults perpetrated on employees at work or on their way to or from work. While criminal cases have been opened, unfortunately there have been only a limited number of arrests.”

(WATCH VIDEO: Wage talks in S.Africa’s platinum sector)

Meanwhile, companies are adamant that they will keep making efforts to ensure that the willing employees indicate their intention to accept the settlement by 8 May 2014 with provisional return to work scheduled for 14 May 2014.

The South African government and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration tried to mediate with no success.