Mining and construction union, Amcu, has expressed their concerns regarding the newly announced acquisition of Lonmin Platinum Mines by Sibanye-Stillwater.

Sibanye will take full control of Lonmin Platinum and will further give the current Lonmin Shareholders an ownership of 11.3% shares in Sibanye-Stillwater, according to a statement issued by Amcu.

“We receive this news with great concern, and given the lack of consultation with Amcu as a majority union with great contempt. It once again confirms that for the mining bosses of this country, workers are nothing more than machines who should have no say in how we manage the economic affairs of this country,” said Joseph Mathunjwa, President, Amcu.

“However, our concern runs much deeper than the question of consultation. The process of capitalist firms swallowing up its competitors and intensifying the monopolisation of the economy is not good for workers. It concentrates power in the hands of a small group of capitalist bosses that use that power to drive home the restructuring of the company to further maximise their profits.”

Mathunjwa said he knows Sibanye will intensify the exploitation of workers at the expense of their welfare, health and safety. “They will attempt to cut costs and this will mean job losses, casualisation and extreme forms of intimidation in an effort to extract greater profits. This is not something new,” he said.

According to the Amcu President, Sibanye Stillwater has not committed to the creation of any new jobs or even saving the jobs that are currently in place. Instead, Sibanye Stillwater has announced that in 3 years of it taking over the ownership of Lonmin they will destroy 12 600 jobs.

“This will come on the top of the 1 100 jobs that are currently being shed at Lonmin,” he said.

Mathunjwa warned Sibanye-Stillwater and its shareholders that Amcu would fight and not sit quietly, watching its members’ futures being destroyed.

“We are prepared to join forces with communities around Lonmin to ensure that the interests of mine workers and mine affected communities are defended. We are going to consult our members and consider all options available to us including mass action backed up by all conceivable legal avenues to defend our members,” concluded Mathunjwa.