AMCU Strike Update: Strike Action Planned at Amplats, Anglo Platinum

January 21, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The AMCU strike is set to start at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats), and Lonmin on Thursday.

The latest update indicates that the strike will not be called off before it begins, though some union members are upset about the planned action at Impala and Anglo American Platinum.

The strike will hit over half of the global output of gold and disrupt companies struggling to make profits, according to Reuters.

Members of AMCU (South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) voted on Sunday to strike at Amplats, while another vote set up strikes at Implats and Lonmin.

The workers plan to lie down tools and walk off the job on Thursday. 

The union is seeking a raise. It wants the minimum monthly wage increased more than double to $1,200 (12,500 rand).

Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the union, told the members during a recent meeting: “Comrades, let’s intensify the struggle for a better wage,” to roaring applause.

The complications stem from the wealth of some of the union leaders, such as Mathunjwa. He rolled into the meeting with three body guards and a brand new Lexus. The AMCU is a rival to the National Union of Mineworkers, and a war between the two in 2012 killed dozens.

Some of the AMCU members aren’t pleased with Mathunjwa. Gaddafi Mdoda, an Amcu shop steward at Implats, told the IOL that “we are on our way out of AMCU.”

“People will lose jobs because Mathunjwa likes to lead people to strike, but he has no power to reinstate them after they have been fired because of a strike,” Vuyo Maqanda, a shop steward at Implats, added.

Mathunjwa, on the other hand, accused shop stewards of corruption at the recent meeting.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber