20 January 2014

South Africa: Platinum Companies Confirm Receipt of Notice

Photo: Anglogold Ashanti/MediaClub SA
Drilling underground in a South African gold mine (file photo).

Johannesburg — The three platinum companies that labour union Amcu notified of their intention to go on a strike later this week confirmed they had received strikes notices from the union on Monday.

"We have received the strike notice this [Monday] morning," said Lonmin Platinum spokeswoman Sue Vey.

"The negotiations are ongoing. They [Amcu] stated they intend to go on strike on Thursday morning, so we shall wait and see what happens."

Anglo American Platinum spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said the company had received Amcu's strike notice.

"We have a meeting with Amcu tomorrow [Tuesday]."

Impala Platinum (Implats) spokeswoman Alice Lourens also confirmed Implats had been notified of the strike.

Earlier on Monday, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) announced it would embark on a strike in both the platinum and gold sectors after issuing employers of both sectors with strike notices.

Amcu treasurer Jimmy Gama confirmed the strike notices had been issued.

"We have been negotiating with the employers through the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) for some time," he said.

"After we obtained the CCMA certificates for all the companies, we continued as Amcu in believing in the negotiation process to try and not come to a stage where there is strike action."

The CCMA said on Friday that Amcu had been issued with non-resolution certificates for the platinum sector, after negotiations with Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum had deadlocked.

This was after the union had referred separate disputes with the three companies to the commission in October and November last year. Amcu was the dominant union in the platinum sector.

Gama said Amcu had met employers after the strike notices were issued, but the meetings did not have a positive outcome.

"We have consulted our members, and unfortunately this is the next step that is to be taken," he said.

Amcu was demanding an entry-level monthly salary of R12,500.

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