Platinum strikers shun Lonmin ultimatum

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This is despite [DATA LON:Lonmin Plc]’s desperate ultimatum to strikers that Wednesday was the last day to return to work or face dismissal.

After wage negotiations with Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) deadlocked, Lonmin set May 14 as the date for employees to return to work sending text messages to about 70,000 workers. The union still demanded a basic salary of 12,500 rand for entry level employees, while employers’ offer still stands at 9 per cent.

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s AMCU says striking miners reject platinum wage offer)

However, no worker reported for duty despite assurance of security to and from work by the police.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa, reassured about 4,000 miners at the Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana that their jobs were safe for now. He accused the Lonmin management of undermining the union by talking directly to employees.

“We have the law on our side. The employers have breached the recognition agreement signed between them and Amcu, the majority union in the platinum sector,” said Mathunjwa.

“Don’t allow them to instigate you to the point that you do unlawful things,” he warned.

(READ MORE: Labour unrest could accelerate S.Africa’s unemployment rate)

Mathunjwa rubbished allegations his members were responsible for the recent attacks on the non-striking miners around Rustenburg, four people were reported dead while several others sustained stab wounds.

(READ MORE: Two workers killed at Lonmin mine in S.Africa: union)

Mathunjwa further warned that the police deployment to the platinum belt in the North West could fuel the repeat of events leading up to the Marikana massacre in 2012, where at least 34 Amcu protesters were murdered by police.

“If the strike is protected and lawful, why the government deploying police. To do what?” Mathunjwa asked.

The union’s national treasure Jimmy Gama said, “We are so closer to Canaan, there’s no way we are returning to Egypt”.