Northam Platinum mineworker strike continues

NUM members went on strike at the Zondereinde mine on Sunday, demanding an increase. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

NUM members went on strike at the Zondereinde mine on Sunday, demanding an increase. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The wage strike at Northam Platinum in Limpopo continues, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday.

"The strike is still on.Our chief negotiator [Ecliff Tantsi] received a call from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration inviting us for a meeting on Friday," said spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu.

NUM members went on strike at the Zondereinde mine on Sunday, demanding an increase of R2 100 for core workers, such as rock drill operators, and R2 000 for non-core workers.

The union rejected the company's revised wage offer of a 7.5% increase for non-core category two to eight employees, and 8.5% for core employees in the same categories.

In categories nine and 10, the company revised its offer to 7% for non-core workers and 7.5% for core workers, and the living-out allowance to 7%.

The company was proposing a two-year wage agreement.

Zondereinde mine
On Tuesday, the union marched to the company's offices at its Zondereinde mine, near Amandelbult, urging the board to probe factors contributing to the wage strikes at the company.

"We further demand that the board cannot sit on the sidelines and be spectators while the situation has reached this point. We demand that the board must be fully involved and provide leadership." The NUM said in a memorandum it believed a solution could be found.

"The company cannot bury its head in the sand and hope that, after sending SMSs to the employees the strike will be solved ... We call upon the company to come and negotiate," said Tantsi.

He said workers were prepared to consider a staggered offer if the company could not meet its demand for a R2 100 increase for core workers and a R2 000 increase for non-core workers.
– Sapa

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