Lonmin wage talks delayed

Striking Lonmin miners wait in the veld for word from their leaders. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MARIKANA - Wage negotiations to end the impasse at Lonmin's Marikana mine failed to kick off on Monday because mining bosses were still waiting for striking workers to arrive.

The talks were supposed to get underway at 12pm.

Lonmin management said it was ready to start wage negotiations, but officials representing the disgruntled workers failed to arrive.

On Monday, hundreds of mineworkers marched to several shafts at Lonmin's Eastern Platinum mine, saying talks will be more effective if all employees stay away from work.

Police simply allowed them to gain access to the area and followed them as they moved from shaft to shaft.

Demonstrators have now arrived at the Saffy shaft, where a large number of employees reported for duty.

The striking workers are demanding that Lonmin pay them a monthly wage of R12,500.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Gold Fields miners gathered at a stadium in Driefontein to demand a wage hike.

On Sunday evening, workers downed tools and embarked on an unprotected strike.

Hundreds of workers, most of them rock drillers, called on the company to increase their salaries to R12,500 a month.

Drillers say they earn less than R5,000 a month and that for years, the mine ignored their grievances.

Union leaders are expected to give them feedback after they hand over a memorandum of demands to management.

Meanwhile, Gold Fields management has called on its employees to return to work or face the consequences.

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)