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Lonmin Platinum Mine in S. Africa hit by fresh strike


18:07, May 15, 2013

JOHANNESBURG, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of miners continued their strike on Wednesday at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana, the North West Province.

The miners, members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), down tools on Tuesday to press their demand that rival union National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) should vacate their offices.

AMCU, which has been fighting with NUM for dominance among the miners, claimed that NUM no longer represents the majority of miners. Their rivalry has often led to violent clashes. "As we speak, the demand is about the closure of NUM. AMCU has signed a peace accord in which they committed themselves to respecting freedom of association,"AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa said.

NUM should accept that AMCU is now the minority and should shutdown its offices, Mathunjwa said.

AMCU's demand to close NUM's office has been rejected by the Lonmin management, which calls for co-existence among unions under a peace accord signed last year.

The strike has led to operation suspention at the mine, Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said. No incidents had been reported at the mine.

This is the latest round of labor unrest that hit the strike- stricken Lonmin Platinum Mine, the world's third largest platinum producer.

The mine was the centerpiece of widespread labor unrest in the mining sector last year. In clashes with police in August last year, 44 people were killed in what was believed the worst labor unrest in the post-apartheid era.

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