Back to work, Vavi tells Implats workers

[] — Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday urged striking mineworkers at Impala Platinum’s Rustenburg mines to return to work, according to a report by Sapa.

“Let us go back,” he reportedly told the group at the stadium in Freedom Park, Rustenburg. They shouted back that they were not prepared to do so. Vavi told the workers a meeting had been set for Friday between Cosatu and Implats to discuss the strike.

Vavi said Cosatu would argue that all dismissed workers should be reinstated with the same benefits they enjoyed before the strike.

“It will not help for us to go back one by one. Let us all go back to work, and allow negotiations to continue.” Leaders of the striking workers told Vavi they would not to return to their jobs unless their demands for a R9,000 monthly salary, after deductions, were met.

“Why do we go underground without money?’ Sapa reported one worker, Eunice Moraka.

“Ga re e koo, (we are not going there),’ the crowd responded, referring to the mine. Moraka said they embarked on an unprotected strike because when they went on legal strikes they returned to work empty-handed.

Meanwhile, the North West government said a settlement agreement between the National Union of Mineworkers and Impala had been reached on Thursday afternoon.