Glencore: Coal strike violence worsens

Striking workers are said to have torched 2 trucks and offices at the Wonderfontein Mine on Wednesday night.

One of the cars damaged in the strike by Amcu affiliate workers at Glencore's Wonderfontein mine in Mpumalanga. Picture: Twitter: @_Amcu

JOHANNESBURG- Glencore has laid arson charges against a South African mining union as a three-week coal strike turns increasingly violent, the mining company said on Thursday.

Workers from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union(Amcu) torched two trucks and offices at the Wonderfontein Mine on Wednesday night, taking the petrol bomb incidents to around 10 since the strike started, Glencore said.

Around 60 striking workers accused of intimidating other employees and damaging nearby farms have been arrested.

On Tuesday, the union reported that at least 20 of its members were shot at with rubber bullets while protesting at the same mine.

Glencore's Gugulethu Maqetuka says, "This follows an increase in violent activities by striking employees at the mine over the last few weeks. This violence has been characterised by the torching and stoning of vehicles, as well as the intimidation of contracted workers who are on site."

Amcu and the police were not available to comment.

Wonderfontein is a joint venture between Glencore and Shanduka Group, which was founded by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. The mine produces 3.6 million tonnes annually.

Glencore said it was engaging with Amcu leadership over a wage dispute.

Additional reporting by Reuters