‘Platinum workers should be at R12,500’

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AmcuHeadGear Reuters.

Johannesburg - Amcu's R12,500 wage demanded in the ongoing platinum strike could already have been met if producers had not sold metals at below market price, the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) said on Monday.

“Lonmin had been systematically over a 10-year period, bar one or two years, underselling their metals,” director Brian Ashley told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We are not alleging any illegal activity of the three companies (Lonmin, Amplats and Implats). We are looking at the issue of affordability.”

The AIDC had been commissioned by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry to look at Lonmin's financial position prior to 2012, to determine if the company could meet workers' wage demands.

The AIDC then looked at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum (Implats) to see if they were engaging in the same practice.

“...We think that these companies should be endeavouring to get maximum sales of their products,” Ashley said.

Ashley said no settlement to the strike had yet been found.

AIDC was advising the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and said discussions between the different sides were “extremely difficult”.

Amcu was to meet later on Monday to discuss the latest offer put forward by the government team mediating between employers and employees.

On Thursday, Ashley told reporters in Cape Town that platinum companies were negotiating in bad faith and might be guilty of tax and wage evasion.

Implats and Lonmin said there was no truth to Ashley's claim, as both independent auditors and tax authorities had assessed their finances. - Sapa

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