No agreement on Amcu wage dispute

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AmcuStrikeAllGreen Independent Media. Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - No agreement has been reached yet in talks aimed at ending the Amcu strike at three platinum mining companies, Impala Platinum (Implats) said on Friday.

“We are disappointed that we have not been able to resolve the current platinum industry wage strike,” Implats chief executive Terence Goodlace said in a statement.

The companies remained committed to engaging with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to find a solution that would satisfy workers and preserve jobs.

Members of Amcu at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Implats went on a protected strike on January 23, demanding a basic entry level salary of R12,500 per month for miners.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has been brokering talks between the union and the platinum companies since January 24.

The platinum producers proposed a three-year agreement last month, which Implats said was based on principles that would eventually see miners' salaries reaching a minimum guaranteed R12,500.

Implats offered to increase the minimum monthly guaranteed pay package so that surface employees' package would grow from R8641

now to R10,915 in the three years.

Underground workers' packages would increase from R9297 to R11,746 over the same period.

In terms of the proposal, the three companies would increase their combined spending on wages and benefits by R2 billion in the first year.

According to Implats, the platinum industry lost around R4.3 billion last year.

Since the Amcu strike began, Implats had lost R1.38bn in revenue.

The CCMA said in a statement on Friday that it met Amcu representatives on Thursday and would meet the platinum producers on Monday.

CCMA director Nerine Kahn said it was important to bear in mind that the mediation process was the first time Amcu and the platinum producers were negotiating at a collective level.

“The CCMA is committed to continuing to engage the parties in exploring all options for a jointly agreed solution to the strike action,” she said.

On Saturday Amplats said it would sue Amcu for compensation for damages and losses suffered during the work stoppage.

“The provisional quantum of the damages claim is about R591m, although as Amcu's wrongful conduct is continuing the damages will continue to accrue,” spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said at the time. - Sapa


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