Johannesburg - Platinum producers tabled a new wage offer at talks with trade union Amcu on Wednesday, the mining companies said.
The companies proposed a three-year agreement, they said in a statement.
The proposal was a nine percent increase for A-level workers, 8.5 percent for B-level and 7.5 percent for C-level workers in the first year.
The second year would see an eight percent, 7.5 percent and seven percent increase, and the third year a 7.5 percent increase for A and B-level and seven percent increase for C-level workers.
“We appeal to the union and its members, our employees, to give the new offer favourable consideration,” the platinum producers said.
“Extended strike action will have severe consequences not only for the industry, but also for employees and their dependants as well as for the country as a whole, with no prospect for gain.”
Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith, Impala Platinum CEO Terence Goodlace and Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said a basic monthly wage of R12 500 was not feasible in the foreseeable future.
“The offer was based on a set of principles aimed at taking our sector on a journey towards the goal of a R12,500 monthly pay package, but in a manner that is affordable and sustainable to the industry,” the three said.
“Given our situation, this can be achieved only by means of a multi-year agreement based on total guaranteed pay.”
Talks between the mining companies and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union were postponed on Wednesday to allow all parties to consult their constituencies.
The talks, which started on Monday, and were being mediated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), would resume on Friday. They were aimed at resolving a strike by Amcu. It began a protected strike at Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum on Thursday.
The following day, the union, employers, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu met at the CCMA's offices in Johannesburg.
The three CEOs recently said a prolonged strike would probably further damage South Africa's reputation as an attractive business and investment destination.
Agence France-Presse reported that Amcu national treasurer Jimmy Gama indicated that union members were unlikely to approve the offer.
“We did not get what we want,” Gama was quoted as saying.
“It's not 12 500. But it's upon our members to decide whether they accept or not.”