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Amcu considers further action over SMSes

The union is looking at other avenues to stop mining companies communicating with striking workers.

FILE: Amcu says it's looking at other avenues to stop mining companies communicating with striking workers. Picture: Gia Nocolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says it will now consider its options after the Labour Court dismissed its application to stop mining companies communicating directly with striking workers.

Around 70,000 Amcu workers at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum and Lonmin have been on strike for over four months demanding a basic wage of R12,500 per month.

The companies say SMS surveys have shown workers are willing to accept an offer of a nine percent increase and want to bring an end to the country's longest and costliest mining strike ever.

But with an increase in strike-related violence in recent weeks, Amcu says the companies' practice of sending text messages to workers is only fuelling tensions.

"Taking an offer directly to the workers is, in Amcu's view, aimed at splitting them up and dividing that united front," explains the union's lawyer Jayson Kent.

Kent says the union knew proving the urgency of its application would be a challenge today.

But he says there are "other avenues" to consider.

"I will have to read the full judgment and we'll make a decision on what we're going to do from there."

Amplats however says it will now resume its SMS campaign.

Company spokesperson Mpumi Sithole says the tactics were put on hold while the application was underway.

"We will be going back to communicating with our employees," she says.