Amcu lowers wage demands

2013-11-14 11:20

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has lowered its wage demands at Impala Platinum, bringing it closer to resolving the deadlock at the world’s second-largest platinum producer.

Amcu’s softening of its stance holds hope that strike threats at the country’s three largest platinum producers will be scrapped.

“It is a clear indication that they are starting to accept some of the financial arguments we are advancing and clearly signalling to us that they could consider something below what they have initially demanded,” said Implats spokesperson Johan Theron.

Amcu, now the dominant union in the platinum sector with members representing around 70% of the miners, has also lined up possible strikes at Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin, which with Implats could affect at least half of global output.

Theron said that while Implats had increased its offer by 0.5% for the lowest-paid underground worker, Amcu had also indicated it would cut its demand for a monthly wage of at least R12 500 to R8 668.

However, Amcu spokesperson Jimmy Gama remained ambiguous.

“We have not dropped our demands, but we have made a counterproposal to them to try to come up with a settlement,” Gama said.

Separately, Amcu was granted permission from the government mediator to strike at Amplats, although Gama said the union was not immediately calling the strike.

“We are still going to consult with our members,” he said after a government mediator gave the union a “certificate of non-resolution” that allows it to call a legal strike.

Security personnel at Amplats’ Mogalakwena mine dispersed protesting community members who were destroying mine property earlier on Wednesday, the company said.

The demonstrators were demanding that the company, part of Anglo American, give them permanent employment.

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