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Platinum talks constructive, say producers

Johannesburg - Talks aimed at resolving the five-month Amcu strike in the platinum sector were constructive, the platinum producers said on Saturday.

Striking miners chant slogans as they march in the Nkaneng township, outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg, on May 13, 2014. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko. Credit: Reuters

“The discussions over the past few days have been constructive and the producers expect to engage again with Amcu early next week,” spokeswoman Charmane Russell said.

Meetings between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the platinum companies were held on Thursday and Friday.

Amcu members at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats), and Lonmin went on strike on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

Amplats, Implats, and Lonmin reached separate “in principle” agreements with the union earlier this month.

Amcu then submitted written responses to each company with additional demands.

The companies said the additional demands would involve extra costs of around R1 billion in aggregate.

Russell confirmed on Thursday that the additional demands included a R3 000 return-to-work payment for each striking worker, withdrawal of criminal charges against Amcu members arrested during the strike, and a moratorium on retrenchments.

By Saturday, the strike had cost the industry R23.5 billion in lost earnings, while employees had forfeited wages of around R10.4bn, according to a website set up by the companies, www.platinumwagenegotiations.co.za.

Amcu could not immediately be reached for comment. - Sapa

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