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Amcu issues strike notice

Amcu will go on strike if negotiations with Lonmin over union recognition are not reached.

Amcu's Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Lonmin management said on Wednesday it hasn't received notice of a strike following reports that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members will down tools.

It's understood the union issued a 48 hour strike notice after parties failed to reach an understanding on Tuesday on the recognition agreement.

The mine currently employs 28,000 workers with 70 percent of the miners affiliated to Amcu.

Lonmin's Sue Vey said talks continued and they're hopeful negotiations would continue.

"We're still confident that an agreement can be reached to continue negotiations, so we're hopeful that will be the route and we can continue through arbitration."

Meanwhile, Amcu members vowed to go on strike at the mine if their union is not granted majority organisational rights.

Its president, Joseph Mathunjwa, on Monday met with Lonmin in a bid to secure a last minute agreement and avoid the strike, but those talks are still ongoing.

Amcu said it would serve Lonmin with an announcement to embark on a protected strike over recognition.

Lonmin has also contested the legality of the strike as it has approached the arbitrator at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) over discrepancies in the recognition agreement.

The mine has been battling with union rivalry following the deaths of 44 people last August.

Miners went on strike demanding better salaries, but the illegal action turned deadly when they clashed with police.

A commission of inquiry was set up by President Jacob Zuma to determine what exactly happened.

The labour unrest in South Africa's mines last year cost platinum and gold producers billions of rand in lost output, resulting in sovereign credit downgrades.

Fears of more turmoil in the mines as workers, unions and companies square off for a new wage bargaining round contributed to drive the rand to four-year lows in the last month.