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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid