Amcu, mines to reopen negotiations

The union says it and the three major platinum mines will enter talks over the wage dispute.

Amcu members listen to Joseph Mathunjwa ahead of the union's strike on the platinum belt. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

MARIKANA - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa says his union's members have agreed to reopen wage negotiations with platinum companies in talks facilitated by government.

Mathunjwa addressed thousands of striking workers at the Wonderkop Stadium near Lonmin's Marikana mine this afternoon.

His address marked the first day of the union's simultaneous work stoppages at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum.

Mathunjwa says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu will facilitate the talks between Amcu and the platinum companies.

"Their request was very simple; that the three mines will join together under one roof to negotiate with Amcu."

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa on the first day of the union's strike on the platinum belt. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

But he says it's unclear when the talks will begin as a schedule still needs to be drawn up between the various parties.

Mathunjwa delivered an emotive address to the packed stadium and was applauded when he proclaimed Amcu would fight for better working conditions for all its members.

Mathunjwa said Amcu would be betraying the spirits of the 34 miners who were killed at the nearby Marikana koppie in August 2012 if it did not pursue a basic monthly wage of R12,500.

He also said CEOs at mining houses should first consider their own inflated salaries and bonuses before denying workers their demands.

Mathunjwa then called on the miners to remain peaceful during the strike.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members listen to union president Joseph Mathunjwa: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.