'Threats won’t end Amplats strike'

The NUM has called on mining companies not to use threats to force striking workers to return to work.

Striking Anglo Platinum workers demonstrate at the company's Blesbok stadium. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Saturday called on mining companies being affected by wildcat strikes not to use threats to force their employees to return to work.

Its request comes after Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine in Rustenburg issued an ultimatum to striking workers on Thursday - warning them to return to work of face dismissal.

Mineworkers in the Rusternburg platinum belt embarked on industrial action three weeks ago, demanding to be paid a minimum wage of R12, 500.

The wave of wildcat strikes was sparked by a violent five-week stoppage at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

Lonmin management and employees have since agreed on increases between 11 and 22 percent for workers, which will be in effect from October.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said threats made by Amplats will only worsen the wage dispute.

He said the union giant believes negotiations between strikers and employers remain the most "powerful weapon" to end the dispute.