Amcu turns to court to halt wage offer

Johannesburg - Mining union Amcu has applied for an urgent court interdict to stop platinum mines from communicating a new wage offer directly to workers, Sake-Beeld reported on Wednesday.

The application by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was filed in the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

Picture: Timothy Bernard. Credit: Independent Newspapers

It wants the court to stop the three mining companies, Lonmin, Implats and Amplats, from directly contacting some 70,000 workers.

The mines have been communicating directly with its employees for the past two weeks to convince them to accept a new wage offer made in April.

This came after the employers' talks with Amcu leaders deadlocked.

Amcu argued in court papers that the SMS campaign and pre-recorded phone messages to workers from the companies breached the recognition agreement with the mining union.

The court will hear the application on Tuesday.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools in January demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

The strike has cost the companies about R14 billion in revenue and workers have lost over R6bn in earnings.

Lonmin warned that it might implement restructuring that could lead to job losses if striking mineworkers failed to return to work on Wednesday.

The company set Wednesday as the deadline for employees to end the almost four-month-old strike.

The companies offered Amcu a settlement on April 17.

They tabled a wage increase offer of between 7.5 percent and 10 percent.

The proposed offer would have seen the minimum cash remuneration for entry-level underground workers rise to R12,500 a month, or R150,000 a year, by July 2017. - Sapa