Sacked miners march on NUM
"We do not want NUM to represent us. They are the stumbling block to re-open the wage negotiation. They must back off"
Sacked Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mineworkers walked to the regional office of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in Rustenburg on Wednesday to cancel their membership.
“We do not want NUM to represent us. They are the stumbling block to re-open the wage negotiation. They must back off,” worker leader Gaddafhi Mdoda said.
“We are at their offices. There is no one here. They have run away. There are thousands of us from four mines and the comrades from Samancor.”
He said another march to the NUM office would be arranged.
“We have dispersed and we our going to meet at our different shafts to discuss about when are we marching again.”
Police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao said the group gathered in the city’s CBD without a permit.
“We explained to them that they need a permit to march. They understood and dispersed peacefully,” he said.
Mdoda said they would not appeal their dismissals.
“We are not going to appeal because we see no reason to appeal.”
The workers elected a committee to speak for them. They burnt NUM t-shirts at one of the protests at Samancor in Mooi Nooi.
At their meetings they had a box full of membership forms for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), despite claims they had no ties with any union.
Amplats fired 12,000 workers last week. The company said that since the illegal strike started less than 20% of workers had reported for duty.
“Currently four of the company’s mining operations in the Rustenburg area have insufficient staff to operate and only essential services are being carried out at those mines. Our Rustenburg concentrators, smelters and refineries and Bathopele mine continue to operate normally,” the company said in a statement.
The strike had spread to Amplats operations in Limpopo.
“Anglo American Platinum also confirms that the company has begun to experience strike contagion at its Union and Amandelbult [Tumela and Dishaba] operations, where workers have presented memorandums of demands similar to those received in Rustenburg,” Amplats said.