SACP slams Amcu for platinum strike

The SACP says Amcu’s prolonged wage strike will have disastrous consequences.

Thousands of Amcu mineworkers marched to Lonmin’s headquarters in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, as they entered the 10th week of their strike for higher wages. 3 April 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) has slammed the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) for its protracted wage strike, saying it is clumsily led and has weakened the working class instead of championing their aspirations.

Amcu's strike has cost platinum producers and workers billions, as stakeholders' battle to find an amicable solution.

The SACP's Jeremy Cronin says the Amcu strike will have disastrous consequences.

"This strike has resulted in the terrible division of workers and working class communities because it's been clumsily led."

Cronin says the most tragic thing about this strike is that it will result, not only in the loss of life, but of jobs as well.

"There needs to be some agreement on wages but that agreement cannot reward vigilantism and it cannot reward the killing of fellow workers."

The SACP says government should convene a multi-stakeholder mining indaba, to resolve all social-economic issues affecting miners and the industry.

Talks have stalled several times, prompting government to form a task team to try and resolve the impasse.

SACP leader Blade Nzimande says that while the strike must be resolved, the inherent danger is that any settlement will focus on remuneration rather than transformational issues in the mining industry.

"To add insult to injury, the senior management have been paying themselves huge and insensitive salaries. On the agenda of this mining indaba must also be the role of contract labour in mining and the range of social and economic problems inflicted upon many mining communities."