Business, Finance & Economics

Lonmin mine strike ends after workers accept pay increase

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Striking mine workers in South Africa celebrate after receiving a 22 percent pay increase from London-listed Lonmin on September 18, 2012.

Lonmin platinum miner workers in South Africa will return to work on Thursday after agreeing to end a six-week strike in return for pay rises of between 11-22 percent plus bonuses.

The Agence France-Presse reported that the London-listed company, unions and non-union represented workers signed a deal late Tuesday, bringing an end to a bloody standoff that claimed the lives of 45 people.

Strikers gathered on a soccer pitch near the mine, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, cheered when they were told of the offer, Reuters reported.

"It's a huge achievement. No union has achieved a 22 percent increase before," Zolisa Bodlani, a worker representative at Marikana, was quoted as saying.

The Associated Press said the labor unrest that started at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg on August 10 had since spread to the gold and chrome sectors of the industry, shaking the South African economy, which depends on mining to drive growth.

The bitter standoff between workers and Lonmin turned deadly on August 16 when police opened fire on strikers, killing 34 and injuring 78 in the worst such shooting since the end of apartheid.

More from GlobalPost: South Africa: Police say 34 dead in Lonmin Marikana mine shooting (VIDEO)

 

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