Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

25 March 2014

South Africa: Platinum Strikes - Two Months Into Starving Negotiations

analysis

After two months of "unprecedented" strikes in the platinum industry, there is currently no discussion between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and three platinum producers - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin. By all accounts, workers are suffering. There's hope Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe might help end the deadlock, but no one's holding their breath.

The platinum producers on Tuesday said the "unprecedented" strike would have dire consequences. "The financial cost - now close to R10 billion in revenue lost, and around R4.4 billion in earnings lost to employees - does not tell the full story. Mines and shafts are becoming unviable; people are hungry; children are not going to school; businesses are closing and crime in the platinum belt is increasing.

Overwhelmingly, we are being told by employees that they wish to return to work, and we need to collectively find a way to ensure that they are able to exercise their right to do so," said the three CEOs of Amplats, Implats and Lonmin in a joint statement. "We note a number of AMCU assertions regarding various historical inequities of the mining industry. We believe that...

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