Amcu to discuss retrenchments

The union is planning to get a mandate from its members in the next few days.

Amplats miners sang and danced at the Entabeni hostel, where they waited to be addressed by the workers committee regarding the possible retrenchment of 14 000 workers at the mine's Komanani shaft. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

RUSTENBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Thursday said it will hold a mass meeting at the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine in Rustenburg this weekend to decide a way forward with its 26,000 members.

Union leader Joseph Mathunjwa said he feared there would be more protest action if the mining giant goes ahead with the retrenchment of 14,000 employees.

Earlier this week, Amplats announced its restructuring plans.

The company also plans on closing down four of its mine shafts.

Mathunjwa said he believed 2013 would be more challenging compared to last year, which saw several wildcat strikes for better pay.

He said strike action was inevitable if retrenchments take place.

The union leader encouraged the miners to return to their posts for the time being.

Mathunjwa is planning to get a mandate from his members in the next few days.

"We are planning to hold a mass general meeting with our members to discuss a way forward."

Amcu said government should nationalise Amplats if the company goes ahead with the retrenchments.

Mathunjwa said this was government's opportunity to nationalise the mines so that South Africans can benefit from mineral resources.

"Those mines, where they put them on maintenance and care, we call upon the Minister of Mineral Resources (Susan Shabangu) to withdraw all the licences and issue them to interested local business owners so that mining operations can continue."