JOHANNESBURG, February 21 – Platinum miner Lonmin Plc confirmed on Thursday that it has received written notice of a secondary strike action from Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to take place at its operations.
Amcu is embarking on a secondary strike in the platinum and coal sectors next week in support of its members who have been on strike for three months in the gold sector at Sibanye-Stillwater.
“According to the correspondence received, the strike will commence on Thursday 28 February 2019 until 07 March 2019. Lonmin is in the process of obtaining legal advice to inform our response to the notice,” the group said in a statement.
At least 15,000 workers affiliated to Amcu have been on a protected strike at Sibanye’s gold operations since midnight on 21 November 2018, demanding higher wages.
They downed tools after refusing a three-year wage agreement signed by the mine and three other unions, and were demanding a R1,000 annual wage hike over three years.
Lonmin was at the centre of a deadly five-month-long strike by Amcu members in 2012 where 34 mineworkers were gunned down by police following clashes that left 10 people dead in the preceding week.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said that his union has been consulting its members at Impala, Lonmin, AngloGold Ashanti, Two Rivers mine and all Anglo American mines, and has been given a clear mandate to support their colleagues at Sibanye.
Mathunjwa said that this coming strike would shut down the entire South African mining industry.
“Wherever Amcu has a recognition agreement, those mines will be joining Amcu. The mines in the West rand will be affected by the secondary strike. The mines in Rustenburg where Amcu has recognition will also be joining,” Mathunjwa said.
Sibanye announced last week that it would begin consultation on the section 189 process that could result in the retrenchments of more than 6,600 workers, including contractors, at its gold operations in South Africa due to losses during the past financial year.
Sibanye has until the end of June to decide buy the entire share issue of Lonmin as its R5.2 billion offer has been approved, subject to conditions. (ANA)