'Up to 4,000' strike at S.African Amplats mine: union

14th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

Up to 4,000 mineworkers staged a sit-in strike at an Anglo American Platinum mine in South Africa's restive platinum belt Friday over the suspension of four leaders, a union representative told AFP.

Workers from the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at the mine's Thembelani shaft in Rustenburg have refused to come out since the 4 am (0200 GMT) shift started, according to George Tyobeka, an AMCU leader.

"They don't want to come out from underground because they want their leadership's suspension lifted," said Tyobeka.

Around 3,000 to 4,000 people were striking, he added.

Four AMCU leaders had been suspended amid allegations they submitted fraudulent membership applications in a bid to inflate union membership numbers.

AMCU and rival union the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have been in a bloody war for dominance at the mines that has resulted in violent strikes and assassinations.

Last year police shot dead 34 miners in one day at the neighbouring Lonmin mine in Marikana.

Eight NUM members were recently suspended at Lonmin for alleged union membership fraud.

© 2013 AFP

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