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Strike: Workers committee slams Mathunjwa

The committee representing workers has lashed out at Amcu's Joseph Mathunjwa.

Lonmin's Rowland shaft in the North West Province on the first day of Amcu's strike on the platinum belt. Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The workers committee representing Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Mine employees have lashed out at Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa on the first day of the union's strike on the platinum belt.

Amcu began a strike by more than 100,000 workers at the two mines as well as Lonmin Platinum, demanding a wage hike of R12,500.

Last week Mathunjwa criticised the workers committee, accusing its leaders of arranging the transfer of workers due to be sacked by Amplats to other mines in the area.

Committee spokesman Mametlwe Sebei says the Amcu president initially promised the workers they wouldn't be fired and is now trying to cover his tracks.

"He has alleged all sorts of things. He said these are corrupt leaders who want to destroy Amcu and is trying to conceal his own betrayal."

NUM ASSAULT

Meanwhile, despite police saying this morning's strike has started without any incidents of violence or intimidation, Amcu rival the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) claims three of its members were assaulted at an Impala Platinum mine while trying to go to work.

The NUM's Frans Baleni says, "We are extremely concerned about threats of violence and intimidation. We can confirm that today three workers were assaulted while attempting to go to work at Impala's shaft 11."

GOLD SECTOR

At the same time, Amcu says it expects disruptions by some of its members in the gold sector.

The union had planned to stop work today at gold mines over a prolonged wage dispute, but was forced to postpone the mass action pending the Labour Court's ruling.

Mathunjwa says, "Our members in the gold sector are reporting to work as per normal but there might be some disruption, which we have requested the employer understand because everyone was ready to embark on this protected industrial action."

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