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Mon Oct 20 15:06:05 SAST 2014

Lonmin rebuilding trust with employees: chairman

Sapa | 31 January, 2013 14:48

Image by: MARIANNE SCHWANKHART

Lonmin Platinum is rebuilding trust with its employees and worker representatives, the company said on Thursday.

Lonmin chairman Roger Phillimore told its AGM on Thursday that the company's board was determined to improve the creation of value for all stakeholders.

He said the company and the industry needed to address the "fault lines" in South African society which were laid bare after the events at Marikana last year.

Thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine on August 16.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and the two security guards, were hacked to death.

The Farlam commission of inquiry is probing the deaths, which occurred during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

Phillimore said the mining industry had to work with the government, unions and employees to rebuild trust and strengthen relationships in the mining sector, while aligning itself with the vision of the National Development Plan.

"It will require a fundamental change in the way we do things," he said.

"We require a collaborative model of decision-making that will help to resolve problems and disagreements before they turn into violence."

He said the mining industry was at a crossroads.

"It is imperative that Lonmin does its part to contribute to improved relations with its employees both in and outside the workplace. We are committing to a long-term process of fundamental change."

Lonmin had established project teams to look at employee relations, an employee share ownership scheme and an adjustment of shifts to enable migrant and local workers to visit their families.

Hostels would be converted into decent and affordable family or single units by 2014.

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