Amcu considering all options – negotiator

2014-05-29 12:11

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has been considering all options on the table to end the lengthy strike in the platinum mining sector, a union negotiator has said.

Media reports had suggested Amcu would not budge on its wage demand, Amcu negotiator Brian Ashley told the Cape Town Press Club today.

“I have to say to you, that is completely false. We have been putting forward several different proposals as tests to where we can go [to see] how we can find each other.”

Ashley has been part of the labour court-facilitated talks in Joburg.

He was accompanied to the Cape Town Press Club by three striking mineworker leaders and the Marikana support group.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

Ashley said the most favourable offer by employers was a R12 500 increase on all cash remuneration over five years, not on the basic salary, which amounted to an R800 increase.

“What Amcu ... have said now is they are happy to get R12 500 phased in over four years on basic. This amounts to a R1 800 increase for each year,” he said.

“There is a gap between employers and the union of R1 000. The only compromise employers had made was in respect of an increase being phased in over four years.”

He said the union had proposed at one stage to consider a R1 350 increase in the basic salary and an 8.5% increase for category C workers.

Ashley claimed negotiations were being complicated by employers because they were calculating costs based on a much higher level of workers than were currently employed.

It was his view that employers were negotiating in bad faith.

“In other words, unions are being forced to accept a deal worse than minority unions were provided without ever going on strike. That is crazy.

“Employers do not want to see Amcu achieving such a victory, which it would be in the context of wage negotiations in South Africa.”

Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker, in mediating the negotiations, had told employers to put a “new and improved” offer on the table, Ashley said.

He said the only glimmer of hope was the intergovernmental technical team established by newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi yesterday.

The team was made up of officials from the departments of mineral resources, labour and the Treasury, who would be supported by representatives from the mining companies and Amcu.

Ashley was encouraged that the team might want to see the employers’ books and look at what they could afford.

The team was set to meet at an undisclosed location later today.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.