Solidarity: Mining sector already fragile

Trade union Solidarity says a strike by Amcu could cripple an already fragile mining sector.

Over 100,000 Amcu members have threatened to go on a strike which could cripple the platinum sector. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG -Trade union Solidarity says a strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) could cripple an already fragile mining industry.

On Monday, the labour union issued strike notices to companies in both the platinum and gold sectors saying more than 100,000 of its members would down tools on Thursday, demanding higher wages.

But Solidarity says it is concerned about the job security of those workers, as the strike could be unprotected and therefore places the future of thousands of miners and their families at risk.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines' Elize Strydom says another strike is not in the best interest of the mining industry or employees.

"This would be Amcu members who are in the minority embarking upon strike action, which impacts on inter-union relationships and there are lots of other unions involved. For us, for various reasons, this would be a very bad move on the part of Amcu."

Earlier today one of the three platinum producers called Amcu to the negotiating table.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa says only Amplats has come forward requesting to negotiate.

"The agenda is about the demands of our members. We are always hopeful and at the end of the day we have to resolve this matter."

At the same time, tensions within Amcu may derail Thursday's mass action.

A group of disgruntled union members say they don't believe the union can pull off the strike and that not everyone agreed to it.