“By 7am tomorrow (0500 GMT Tuesday) we expect workers to return to work. After that Lonmin has the right to fire them,” Mark Munroe, Lonmin executive vice president for mining, said on Monday.
He was speaking alongside officials from the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), but with no representative of the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) – seen as the driving force behind the wildcat strike by 3,000 rock drill operators.
“Our priority is to return to normality. We are in consultations with the unions, NUM, which is the majority union at the mine,” Munroe said.
Lonmin chief financial officer Simon Scott said the company had yet to receive any demands from the strikers and said the AMCU has not been part of the company’s negotiations with workers.
Ten people died in clashes between NUM and AMCU supporters after the strike began on August 10, leading to the standoff Thursday that ended with police gunning down a crowd of armed workers, killing 34 in the bloodiest day of protest since apartheid.