Nedlac wants platinum strike resolved

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AmcuStrikeAllGreen

Independent Newspapers.

Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - Government must get the parties in the platinum mining sector talking again, Nedlac said on Monday.

“We call on all parties to move away from the entrenched adversarial positions they have adopted. There must be a willingness from all parties to try and find solutions,” spokeswoman Kim Jurgensen said.

“This crisis needs to be resolved, for the sake of the workers, their families, the industry, and the country as a whole. Nedlac stands ready to play its part.”

The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) had been monitoring the crisis in the platinum industry and the latest breakdown in negotiations with deep concern.

“But getting the parties back to the negotiating table and finding creative ways of resolving this dispute is the number one priority now, although it is a very challenging task.”

She said the protracted and violent strike highlighted the complexity of the underlying issues driving it.

“This is not just a dispute over wages. It is fuelled by inter-union rivalry and the dire socio-economic conditions of the workers. Their resolve to pursue what they see as decent wages is further galvanised by a deep sense of social exclusion and the memory of their brethren who died during the 2012 Marikana tragedy.”

Members affiliated to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum have been on strike since January 23 demanding a minimum R12,500 basic salary per month.

They have rejected the companies' offer that would see a minimum cash remuneration of R12,500 by July 2017.

The cash remuneration includes a living-out and holiday leave allowances, but excludes medical and retirement benefits, and any bonuses.

The strike has cost employers about R18.5 billion in revenue and employees have lost about R8.2bn in earnings according to a website created by platinum mining companies, www.platinumwagenegotiations.co.za. - Sapa


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