News / Africa

South African Mine Group Announces Strike

Striking platinum miners march near the Anglo-American Platinum (AMPLATS) mine near Rustenburg in South Africa's North West Province, October 5, 2012.
Striking platinum miners march near the Anglo-American Platinum (AMPLATS) mine near Rustenburg in South Africa's North West Province, October 5, 2012.
Peter Clottey
The General-Secretary of South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says members of the group will begin a strike Tuesday to press home their demands for better living conditions.

“The strike ignited because the employers failed to respond to the reasonable demands submitted by the National Union of Mineworkers on behalf of its workers, among others, it is the recognition of the difficult underground environment it cannot be compared with the hospitality industry,” said NUM General-Secretary Frans Baleni.

Baleni says mine employers have refused to meet workers’ demands, despite repeated appeals.  Baleni’s comments came after Anglo Platinum Mines announced it will begin retrenching about 3,000 of its workers, beginning Tuesday.

The workers are demanding about 60 percent pay increase, but the mine owners are offering between six to 6.5 percent.

“What the employers are offering is six percent and 6.5 percent, which is below the inflation in some instances.  Our members are saying even if we do not strike, we are still going to be laid-off, so there is no point in not fighting for a living wage rather than say let us give in,” said Baleni.

Some of the union leaders have expressed concern of possible violence after accusing the employers of poorly handling discussions to meet workers’ demands for better living conditions.

At the time of publication, NUM representatives and employers have been held up in meetings in an attempt to finding a solution to avert Tuesday’s strike.  This came as a mine workers group pulled out of the strike, after accepting an offer from the employers.

“We are asking the employers to come onboard to prevent the strike.  We are still calling for them to put something on the table to avert the strike,” said Baleni.

Some analysts say the strike could cripple the country’s mining industry.  But, Baleni says NUM will continue to fight for the rights of its members, despite the imminent retrenchment of its members.

“It is a concern to us because already we are facing possibility of layoff.  About four of the gold mining companies have started some kind of layoff and we are extremely worried about it,” said Baleni.

The government has yet to intervene in the negotiations between management and the union representatives.

“We have said that the government should not interfere in terms of the collective bargaining process.  But the government must equally be concerned about potential layoff, which will impact negatively on the economy as well as when the government must come in to assist those who have been laid-off,” said Baleni.

Clottey interview with Frans Baleni, NUM's General Secretary
Clottey interview with Frans Baleni, NUM's General Secretaryi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid