Amcu to strike at Lonmin, Implats

2014-01-17 08:26

Upstart worker organisation the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said it would serve notice to strike for higher wages at top platinum producers Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

Amcu, the majority worker group at both mines, will give the 48-hour notice on Monday, its president Joseph Mathunjwa confirmed in a text message yesterday.

Workers at the firms, world number two and three respectively, voted in favour of downing tools as they demand a minimum salary of R12 500.

The union will have talks with members at the world’s top producer, Anglo American Platinum, later this week.

Amcu claims the current entry-level wage is about R5 000, though gold and platinum producers give higher figures.

Sector-wide strikes would cripple world platinum supply because South Africa produces 80% of the global output.

The 100 000-member union also said this week it will strike at gold mines where it is the minority labour grouping.

It has rejected 8% wage increases offered by platinum and gold producers.

Following official processes for strikes marks a change from Amcu’s past practice of wildcat stoppages since it gained prominence on the platinum belt two years ago.

It wrested control of platinum mines from the government-linked National Union of Mineworkers then with promises of dramatic salary increases.

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