Lonmin: Wage deal in honour of lives lost

Lonmin management says the wage settlement signed by them and miners is in honour of staff who died.

Lonmin officials and union members signing a wage agreement reached on 18 September 2012. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

MARIKANA - Lonmin management on Wednesday said the wage settlement signed by all parties on Tuesday evening is in honour of those who died during the unrest in the past month.

Police killed 34 striking workers on 16 August, during clashes with protesters in Wonderkop, Marikana.

The preceding week saw 10 deaths, including the hacking of two security guards, at the North West mining township.

Miners have now agreed to salary increases of between 11 and 22 percent, which means rock drillers - the majority of those who were on strike - will receive a monthly salary of R11 078 before deductions and production team leaders R13 022.

Lonmin staff will receive an additional R2,000 bonus if they return to work on Thursday.

Executive manager for human capital at Lonmin Abbey Kgotle on Wednesday said the agreement was a step forward in the relationship between management and workers, but said those who lost their lives must not be forgotten.

"We would like to conclude this [wage] agreement in their honour, all the deceased employees that we had to bury."

Production at the mine is anticipated to boom tomorrow, as less than two percent of the platinum producer's workforce had reported for duty during the strike period.

Meanwhile, Lonmin miners have been given permission to gather again this morning, to get a final breakdown of salary packages which will come into effect in October.

They have started to fill the Wonderkop Stadium, and there is a sense of jubilation.

Miners on Wednesday said they were relieved the strike was over because they would receive salaries and be able to again provide for their families.

Police are keeping a close eye on the group.