Amcu to take fresh wage offer to members

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AmcuBillBoard Reuters. A member of the South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) holds placards as he attends a rally in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg January 19, 2014.

Johannesburg - The biggest labor group in South Africa’s platinum industry, the world’s largest, said it will present a wage offer to its striking members tomorrow after talks with mining companies.

The offer is less than the 12,500 rand ($1,110) monthly basic pay that the union demanded, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union Treasurer Jimmy Gama told reporters in Pretoria today.

It was made by Anglo American Platinum Plc, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin Plc, the world’s three biggest miners of the metal.

“We will be reporting back to them in terms of the offer and we will get a mandate from them whether they accept the offer or not,” Gama said.

“How can you be satisfied with an offer that does not address the living wage?”

The AMCU has been on strike since January 23 over its demand for 12,500 rand a month for entry-level workers, which is more than double current pay levels.

South Africa’s platinum industry, which accounts for about 70 percent of global production, is losing about 9,900 ounces of the metal each day of the strike, or about $14.2 million at current prices.

The platinum companies have called the union’s demands “unaffordable and unrealistic.” Union President Joseph Mathunjwa last week warned of “marathon negotiations” to resolve the dispute.

The talks are facilitated by the government through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

“I cannot say they are amicable at this time, because we did not get what we want, but they are cordial,” Gama said, referring to the talks with employers.

The sides agreed to meet again on January 31, he said. - Bloomberg News



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