Mine slump: The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, led by Joseph Mathunjwa, will next week protest job losses in the mining industry. Picture: THE TIMES
Mine slump: The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, led by Joseph Mathunjwa, will next week protest job losses in the mining industry. Picture: THE TIMES

The Association of Mining and Construction Union (Amcu) says 20,000 of its members will march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on March 20 to protest the job losses in the mining industry and other socio-economic issues.

The protest will affect staff attendance at various mines across the country, with marches planned in Polokwane, Durban, Welkom and Pretoria.

Although the strike will be protected, workers stand to lose income on the day as the no work, no pay rule will apply. Amcu applied for a strike certificate at the National Economic Development and Labour Council in 2017.

The union’s president Joseph Mathunjwa said "if we don’t do something quickly, it looks like more is set to come", referring to job losses in the mining industry which recorded 50,000 lay-offs between 2012 and 2015.

Mathunjwa spoke in a briefing to reporters on Wednesday in Johannesburg, at which he also said the union would be demanding that the Department of Mineral Resources enforce stricter measures to ensure the implementation of social and labour plans by mines.

Amcu will also soon start wage negotiations with employers in the coal sector.

Although Mathunjwa would not disclose the union’s demands ahead of the talks, he said the union would take into consideration some of the economic pressures workers are facing, such as the VAT increase announced in February.