Solidarity wants protection for miners
Solidarity says the right to strike has become more important than the right to work.
JOHANNESBURG - There's a strong indication that majority of mineworkers in the North West platinum belt want to return to work, but are being threatened by a group of striking miners.
As the platinum strike enters its fifth month Trade union Solidarity said the right to strike has become more important than the right to work.
It will approach the Constitutional Court in an attempt to protect the rights of workers who've been too intimidated to return to their posts.
A last ditch attempt by Minerals Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi to resolve the strike failed yesterday, leaving the wage talks up to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the mining houses.
Solidarity said they rely on overtime and bonuses and the crippling work stoppage put them at a disadvantage because they're afraid to return to their posts.
The union's Gideon du Plessis said, "If we look at what has been happening for the past two years it won't be easy but we owe it to non-striking workers who are also suffering."
But the union said workers are being threatened and it seems like there's no end in sight for the strike which started in January this year.
The union also wants a court order that will compel government to enforce law and order with more police officers to guarantee the safety of miners at home and at work.
Despite Ramatlhodi's determination to end the strike, his team pulled out of wage talks as Amcu is not backing down from its demand of a R12,500 entry level salary.
This has been the longest standing and costliest strike in South Africa's history which economists argued is pushing the country into a recession.