Amcu to press on with platinum strike


Cape Town - Members of South Africa's AMCU union will continue with a wage strike that has hit output at the world's three biggest platinum producers until employers meet their demands, union leader Joseph Mathunjwa said on Wednesday.

“How long will the strike take? The struggle is the struggle at the end of the day... We will continue,” Mathunjwa told a Cape Town Press Club luncheon.

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Mine workers protest outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg January 23, 2014. South African mines producing half the world's platinum are shut as the country's hardline miners union began a strike for hefty pay hikes their employers say they cannot pay. Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the sector's main union, downed tools at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, the top three producers of the metal used in catalytic converters in cars.

Wage talks between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and platinum producers resumed on Tuesday in a government-brokered intervention to try and break a deadlock over demands by the union for their wages to be more than doubled.

AMCU members walked out at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin in January.

With close to half of South Africa's platinum industry stressed due to falling prices, higher input costs and labour strife, mining companies argue they cannot afford the wage demands.

The Chamber of Mines estimates the strikes are costing the sector about 197 million rand ($18 million) per day in direct revenue lost. - Reuters

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