Pegmin mineworkers down tools

Workers are demanding a 12% salary increase, medical aid and R1000 housing allowance.

Mine and general workers at Pegmin Micronized Mine at the small farming town of Mica outside Hoedspruit in Limpopo have downed tools over salary increase.

Workers are demanding a 12% salary increase, medical aid and R1000 housing allowance.

The workers who are members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have been picketing outside the mine premises for a number of days.

The mine management says that the company is giving workers six percent salary increase starting from April 2020.

They say the company is a small scale mine and cannot afford housing allowance and medical aid more so because the workers stay at the mine premises for free where they get water and electricity.

The worker’s spokesperson Patrick Mashiane says they deadlocked at the CCMA with the employer in 2019.

Mashiane says, “We demand twelve percent across the board, the issue of medical aid and housing allowance. We have demanded that the company must give us one thousand housing allowance and they rejected all our demands that is why we are now on strike because we failed to reach agreement at CCMA we received the certificate of outcome at CCMA on the 31 of January 2020 and our strike begun on the 17 of February 2020.”

Recently, in the North West, striking workers at Lanxess Chrome Mine outside Rustenburg threatened to intensify their protest action if management continued to ignore their demands.

The protest entered its second week with miners staging a sit-in underground and above the surface.

About 150 workers who have staged a sit-in get food and water from their colleagues and relatives under strict conditions, set by the mine.

The protest, which escalated into an underground sit-in last weekend, is aimed at highlighting the plight of part-time workers.