Implats workers strike at Rustenburg mine
Implats miners have downed tools in protest over the arrest of their colleagues and leaders implicated in last week's clashes between rival unions.
Impala Platinum spokesperson Alice Lourens said on Tuesday the workers at the mine near Rustenburg “refused to proceed underground when they heard some of their colleagues had been arrested” since Monday evening.
Police investigating last week’s skirmishes arrested the alleged perpetrators of the violence. They belong to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), Lourens said.
Last week police intervened at the JSE-listed company after workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the rival AMCU clashed at two different locations on the mine’s property.
At the time North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said several Implats workers belonging to AMCU attacked their NUM colleagues outside a hostel before they left for work. Two NUM workers ran and hid.
Another was shot in the head and collapsed on the road outside the hostel. He was taken to the Impala mine hospital.
“It is alleged that the dispute between the two labour unions’ members ... is being influenced by the fact that AMCU has now recruited more members since ... the Implats strike,” he said.
“The AMCU members are allegedly out-numbering those of NUM and they forcefully want NUM members to vacate the ... number 14 shaft,” Ngubane said.
Implats fired 17 200 workers after they refused to return to work in February, despite a court interdict declaring a strike they embarked on in January illegal.
Three people were killed in incidents linked to intimidation and violence involving the dismissed workers, while scores were injured and more than 100 were arrested for public violence. – Sapa