Amcu slams Sibanye for ‘boast­ing about prof­its’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NATION -

THE As­so­ci­a­tion of Minework­ers and Con­struc­tion Union (Amcu) yes­ter­day ac­cused gold mine Sibanye-Still­wa­ter of “brag­ging about its prof­its” amid a work­ers’ strike for higher wages, and ac­cused chief ex­ec­u­tive Neal Frone­man of ex­ploita­tion and cut­ting cor­ners on safety.

Amcu mem­bers at Sibanye downed tools last Novem­ber de­mand­ing a R1000 an­nual wage in­crease for the next three years, and have clashed with col­leagues from ri­val Na­tional Union of Minework­ers (NUM) which, along with other unions, signed a deal with Sibanye and whose mem­bers are at work.

The mine has op­ti­mised pro­duc­tion through the de­ploy­ment of em­ploy­ees re­port­ing for work to spe­cific pro­duc­tion ar­eas and min­imis­ing over­head costs by shut­ting down ser­vices such as ven­ti­la­tion, re­frig­er­a­tion and oth­ers in ar­eas which are not op­er­a­tional.

This has an­gered Amcu pres­i­dent Joseph Mathun­jwa, who said Sibanye was be­ing disin­gen­u­ous by plead­ing poverty when work­ers de­manded higher wages but be­ing equally quick to in­form in­vestors that it was not feel­ing the fi­nan­cial pinch of the strike.

Mathun­jwa said Frone­man had sur­rounded him­self with ex-bosses of NUM – now prom­i­nent of­fi­cials in gov­ern­ment – by ap­point­ing them to his ex­ec­u­tive ad­vi­sory board, and that they ad­vised him daily on how to avoid pay­ing work­ers fairly.

“Neal Frone­man is cut­ting cor­ners where he can – both on safety mea­sures and on pay­ing liv­ing wages to his em­ploy­ees. He has ex­ploited work­ers to make max­i­mum profit.”

Mathun­jwa said they would es­ca­late the stand-off to a sec­ondary strike in the plat­inum sec­tor if nec­es­sary. |

EPA-EFE African News Agency (ANA)

WORK­ERS clean the area around stat­ues of ANC lead­ers that have been erected along the M4 Ruth First high­way in Dur­ban, as part of the ANC’s elec­tion man­i­festo launch at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in the city. |

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