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Unions demand Star Diamond Mine pay workers’ salaries

SABC News Mine - Unions demand Star Diamond Mine pay workers’ salaries

Cosatu and its affiliate NUM are demanding that Star diamond Mine in Theunissen, Free State, pay workers their outstanding salaries.

The labour organisations accuse the mine management of avoiding them.

The mine allegedly ordered more than 200 employees to stay away from work since January, until further notice.

Cosatu joined the march by NUM members to hand over a memorandum.

Workers at the mine are without work and no salaries for reasons unknown to them.

50-year-old Eric Phetlekwane is devastated. He’s struggling to make ends meet after many years working at this mine.

“My wife left me and my child was at school in Winburg. Now my child is sitting at home because I don’t have money to pay school fees. It is painful, we are asking for assistance.”

Cosatu is strongly in opposition of the existing situation. Provincial Secretary, Monyatso Mahlatsi, says operations at the mine should start with immediate effect.

“The operation of this mine should start with immediate effect and all the money that is due workers from January to now should be paid because they are not at home at their own liking; they are at home because of the instruction by the employer. So we do not believe that being at home entitles their employer to withhold their salaries. We also want the employer to pay third parties.”

The mine management commits and says the respond will come soon. Acting mine manager, Wessel Horak, says the mine will make a decision on the memorandum at their next meeting.

“In the next meeting, the decision will be taken on the demands on this memorandum; and this reply will be sent to the members. Rumours are of people being told to stay at home. We’ve got no mandate to speak on behalf of directors so I cannot comment on that.”

The union has given the mine seven day to respond.

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