12 March 2019
We deny the narrative that the gold strike at Sibanye-Stillwater has become a personal vendetta between CEO Froneman and AMCU President Mathunjwa. As a mass-democratic organisation, the principle of worker control permeates our collective bargaining processes and should not be misconstrued with the personalities of our leaders.
Our members have shown great courage to sacrifice their comfort and income for the greater struggle for economic emancipation. In a company where the CEO’s annual salary can pay 675 workers for the whole year, whose hourly rate is twice the monthly salary of the lowest paid employee and whose daily wage is more than the annual salary of his low-end workers, wage inequality is arguably the most violent form of injustice in our Country. Despite our bona-fide approach to negotiations, the attitude of Sibanye has been that of the last battalion in defence of apartheid legacies. The company has malafidely spent large sums in lawyers, security guards and other strike breaking mechanisms, incurring twice as much costs than the amount required to reach settlement.
The call for leadership by the Minister does not preclude him as we continue to invite his intervention. Instead of convening meaningful engagement between the parties, the Minister has demonstrated that he is partisan, irresponsibly calling for the SAPS to intervene in a labour matter, a precipitate for the second Marikana. Where capitalist interests are involved in Xolobeni, he is in the forefront.
However, where the lives of poor mine workers are at stake, their struggle is vilified. AMCU remains steadfast in its quest for social justice and economic emancipation.