/ 30 October 2010

Cosatu: Lay charges against Aurora

Cosatu and the National Union of Mineworkers have given the mineral resources department until Monday to open a criminal case against Aurora mine for not paying workers’ salaries.

“We marched to the mineral resources department [in Matlosana, North West] today [Friday] to give in our memorandum, which gives them until Monday, at 10am, to do something about our salaries,” said Cosatu provincial spokesperson Solly Phetoe.

He said inaction would result in an indefinite sit-in outside the department’s office in Matlosana (Klerksdorp) from next week.

“We will sleep outside on the streets and we will not leave until something is done,” Phetoe said.

Aurora’s workers at its Orkney and Grootvlei mines had not been paid since March.

Phetoe said they were also protesting against deductions from their salaries that had not been paid to the labour department.

The deductions were for the Unemployment Insurance Fund and rent mutual insurance, which was a compensation fund for injury and death of miners.

“We originally received a letter on August 27 saying that all our salaries and back-pay would be paid in by September 30. None of that has happened and no directors were able to respond,” Phetoe said.

“We ultimately want the labour department and the mineral resources department to open a criminal case against Aurora and put a stop to the injustices against our members.”

Department of Mineral Resources spokesperson Jeremy Michaels on Friday confirmed that a memorandum from the unions had been received, but said he was not immediately in a position to give further comment. – Sapa