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Mining bosses earning too much, says Vavi

Zwelinzima Vavi says mining CEOs are earning millions every year while workers are being ignored.

Fighting for the people: Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says workers need to be heard. Picture: Tshepang/iWitness

CAPE TOWN - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi believes senior staff in mining companies are still earning too much while workers' wage demands are being ignored.

The National Union of Mineworkers has been criticised by government for its call for pay rises of up to 50 per cent for employees at gold and coal producers.

On Wednesday Vavi said mining CEOs salaries were raking in millions every year.

"For example the chief financial officer of Lonmin earned R10.4 million in a year. So the inflation can't just be aimed at the lowest paid workers, it must be that we cut salaries at the top."

Meanwhile, Vavi also said the trade union federation was not split or paralysed. He added that its leaders knew better than to fight silly battles instead of dealing with issues affecting workers.

Vavi survived an apparent plot to oust him at the federation's central executive committee meeting this week.

The federation called on all its affiliates and national office bearers to submit any allegations of wrongdoing against anyone to independent facilitators by the end of next week.

This relates to allegations of corruption against him which he has vehemently denied, challenging anyone with information to come forward.

He downplayed the challenge against him.

"Cosatu leadership is acutely aware of the dangers of fighting silly small battles against one another when workers continue to fight massive economic challenges."