Lonmin recognises union on the anniversary of miner massacre

PLATINUM miner Lonmin yesterday formally recognised South Africa’s AMCU trade union, averting the threat of further strikes and paving the way for pay talks.

The accord was reached ahead of tomorrow’s first anniversary of the Marikana massacre, which saw police kill 34 miners at a Lonmin mine in the north of the country.

Pay talks are now expected to start within weeks, with the hardline AMCU set to demand enormous wage increases.

New Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara said the agreement had not been easy but insisted the stability would improve the company’s “recent operational performance”.

Shares in London-listed Lonmin edged up slightly on the news.

The announcement that AMCU will be the “majority union” at Lonmin is a victory for the union, which prior to the dispute had been in the shadow of the much larger National Union of Mineworkers.

“We acknowledge that without co-operation we are all losers and that, as leaders, we must find a way to ensure we can move forward together in peace and stability.” said AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa.