Government steps in to mediate platinum strike

2014-05-28 20:10
The colourful green and red T-shirts of members of rival unions NUM and Amcu in the auditorium of the Rustenburg Civic Centre during proceedings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Picture: (Lucas Ledwaba, City Press)

The colourful green and red T-shirts of members of rival unions NUM and Amcu in the auditorium of the Rustenburg Civic Centre during proceedings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Picture: (Lucas Ledwaba, City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Government-mediated talks will start on Thursday to try to break a deadlock between the union and top global platinum producers over a crippling four-month strike, the mining ministry said.

A panel drawn from the mining, labour and finance ministries will take up the baton dropped by the Labour Court earlier this week when wage talks between the parties collapsed.

New mining minister Ngoako Ramathlodi set up the team after meeting executives of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin on Wednesday.

The talks came as firms reported billions of dollars in lost revenue and wages due to the stoppages, contributing to a contraction in the country's economy in the first quarter of the year.

"All parties are hurting. The workers are hurting. We have no option but to find an amicable solution," he said in a statement.

The platinum producers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have been holding on-off talks since 80 000 workers went on strike on 23 January.

Employees are demanding entry-level wages more than double to R12 500 per month. Employers have so far offered a broader package of changes that would only see wages rise that high from 2017.

The mining and labour ministries involved themselves in mediation efforts using independent negotiators in the early stages of the strike, with little success.

No deal

The Labour Court waded into the fray last week to try to broker a deal, also to no avail.

Ramathlhodi, who was appointed last weekend when President Jacob Zuma announced his new cabinet, told local radio on Wednesday that the talks mediated by a judge had broken down.

On Tuesday, he met with the AMCU, which leads the strike that has crimped production in world's richest platinum belt.

The companies say they have lost almost €1.5bn in production revenue since the stoppages started, while workers have lost almost €630 000 in wages.

Data released on Tuesday showed the economy shrank by 0.6% in the first quarter, largely due to a slump in the mining sector.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  amcu  |  labour
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
49 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.

/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Love is in the air and it is swirling around you in a romantic mist. This may be an idealistic yearning for that perfect love or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.