NUM offended by apartheid treatment

THE National Union of Mineworkers is "disappointed" in the latest offer tabled by the Two Rivers Platinum Mine, which is jointly owned by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Impala Platinum.

The union is demanding a 17 percent wage increase for its members, while the employers are offering 6 percent at the Mpumalanga-based platinum miner.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the union had expected better working relations with the mining company, especially ARM, because of its black economic empowerment composure.

"We thought the ARM leadership would understand the dynamics of where the workers are coming from, but they are acting as if they don't know about poverty"

He said if the offer did not change the union would "harden" its attitude and explore all avenues, including a possible strike.

Seshoka said: "As a union we have been at the forefront of BEE and we don't appreciate treatment similar to that of apartheid."

Other demands include 40 days annual leave, while the company made no offer in this regard. The NUM wants a wage agreement to be limited to one year, while the company is pushing for a two-year wage agreement.

Today management will meet the union to discuss the matter.

In a separate incident, the NUM is accusing the mine management of racial discrimination in the case of three black workers who were recently been "declared unfit to perform their duties.

The union claims to have proposed to management to "avail alternative jobs" to these workers for a period of six months on the same salary scales until final medical assessments were made, but this didn't happen.

ARM executive Mike said he said he was not aware of the incident but would "look into the matter".