Lonmin Media Release: Clarity on wage offer and interdict
Lonmin wishes to make it clear that reports indicating it has made a second offer are incorrect. On Friday 14 September management provided a breakdown of the offer on the table in terms of total guaranteed pay for the different categories of workers. The offer itself is unchanged.
Summary of the offer
Promotion of entry level mining jobs from A3 to A4 and resultant increase in total guaranteed pay of 16%
Promotion of Rock Drill Operators (RDOs) from A4 to B1 and resultant increase in total guaranteed pay of 21%
Management's offer includes maintaining the agreed October increases of between 9% and 10%
Implementation of monthly drilling allowance for RDOs and RDAs (rock drill assistants) of R750.00 per month.
On this basis, the proposed increase, including the agreed October increase, would range from 9% for team leaders to 21% for Rock Drill Operators. RDOs would see their total guaranteed package (i.e. basic plus housing allowance plus medical aid) increase by over R1,800 a month (excluding any bonuses).
Lonmin reiterates its position that the R12,500 demand is unaffordable and would result in a trade-off between wages and jobs.
Lonmin's position on the interdict
In order to clarify the misunderstandings that have arisen as to Lonmin's legal position, we would like to set the record straight. On Friday, 10 August 2012, Lonmin made an urgent application to the Labour Court for an interdict as a result of an unlawful, unprotected and unprocedural strike by the rock drill operators which had begun on that day.
An interim Order to declare the strike unprotected, and preventing the strikers from interfering with any person who wanted to work, was granted by the Labour Court on 10 August 2012. The Labour Court's order of 10 August 2012 called upon the striking employees via their union or representatives to appear before it on 13 September 2012 and to motivate why the Labour Court should not make its interim order a final one.
On Thursday, 13 September 2012, all the parties were required as a matter of course and courtesy to appear before the Labour Court. The Labour Court, on being satisfied that the interim order had been properly served on all parties, including Association Mining and Construction workers' Union, was required to consider whether it would discharge the interim order or make it final. In view of the fact that the unlawful strike was continuing unabated, the Labour Court exercised its discretion to confirm the order.
Throughout this tragic and challenging matter Lonmin has acted within the parameters of the law and due process and has gone to great lengths to try to resolve this matter through negotiations, including agreeing to negotiate an amendment to the wage agreement, which is due to come into effect in October 2012.
It should be emphasised that this remains an unprotected strike and that many of the strikers have flaunted the law by, amongst other things, indulging in acts of violence and intimidation. Lonmin believes a balance must be found between workers' rights to protest on the one hand and respect for due process, the rule of law and rights of fellow citizens on the other.
However, Lonmin continues to seek a solution to the current situation through negotiation, which it is carrying out in good faith, and has demonstrated this through the significant and meaningful response to the demands that have now been tabled, even though the strike is illegal.
At this point Lonmin remains committed to the wage negotiations as the most sustainable solution for a return to work.
Statement issued by Lonmin, September 16 2012
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