MAC: Mines and Communities

South Africa: Glencore coal strike struck by violence

Published by MAC on 2016-04-07
Source: Reuters, Mining.com (2016-04-07)

Glencore says SA coal strike violence worsens

Miner lays arson charges against Amcu

Zandi Shabalala

Reuters

7 April 2016

JOHANNESBURG – Glencore has laid arson charges against a South African mining union as a three-week coal strike turns increasingly violent, the mining company said on Thursday.

Workers from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) torched two trucks and offices at the Wonderfontein Mine on Wednesday night, taking the petrol bomb incidents to around ten since the strike started, Glencore said.

Around 60 striking workers accused of intimidating other employees and damaging nearby farms have been arrested.

Amcu and the police were not available to comment.

Wonderfontein is a joint venture between Glencore and Shanduka Group, which was founded by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. The mine produces 3.6 million tonnes annually.

Glencore said it was engaging with Amcu leadership over a wage dispute.


Striking workers arrested at Glencore’s SA coal mine

After wage protests turn violent

Zandi Shabalala

Reuters

5 April 2016

JOHANNESBURG – Fifty seven striking workers were arrested during a violent strike over wages at a South African coal mine owned by Glencore, the company and police said on Tuesday.

The three-week long strike by 160 members of Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Glencore’s Wonderfontein coal mine in the eastern Mpumalanga province turned violent, with workers intimidating other employees and damaging nearby farms.

Police spokesman Kwapa Macdonald said those arrested were released on bail. Strikers were at the mine on Wednesday singing and protesting but were observing picketing orders, she said.

Wonderfontein Coal mine is a joint venture between Glencore and Shanduka Group, which was founded by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. The mine produces 3.6 million tonnes annually.

“While the first week of the strike was fairly peaceful, the strike has turned increasingly violent in the past two weeks, resulting in the obtaining of a court order against Amcu and its members to desist from acts of violence at the mine,” Glencore said in a statement.

Amcu was unavailable for comment but their official Twitter feed confirmed that a strike at the mine was underway.

Amcu also plans a strike due to start on Wednesday at Sibanye Gold to demand higher wages.


Striking coal workers arrested after violent raid at Glencore's South African mine

Cecilia Jamasmie

http://www.mining.com/striking-coal-workers-arrested-after-violent-raid-at-glencores-south-african-mine/

5 April 2016

A group of almost 60 striking coal miners were arrested Tuesday after a raid to demand higher wages at a South African coal mine owned by Glencore turned violent.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said armed security guards fired at workers to dissolve picketing lines. But Reuters reports strikers are the ones who have made of the labour action a violent one, with AMCU members intimidating other employees and damaging nearby farms and other private property.

Production at the Wonderfontein coal mine has been halted for three weeks after members of AMCU decided to down tools in March. They are demanding their basic monthly salary to be doubled from about $265 (R4,000) to $530 (R8,000), as well as medical aid, transport and housing allowances.

"While the first week of the strike was fairly peaceful, it has turned increasingly violent in the past two weeks, resulting in the obtaining of a court order against AMCU and its members to desist from acts of violence at the mine," Glencore said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

The union said through its Twitter feed that leaders would meet mine representatives later today following today’s violent incident.

AMCU also plans a strike due to start on Wednesday at Sibanye Gold to demand higher wages.

Wonderfontein Coal mine is a joint venture between Glencore and Shanduka Group.

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