17 June 2014

South Africa: Amcu Responds to Mining Companies

Photo: Sapa
Armoured police patrol near Lonmin's Marikana mine (file photo).

Johannesburg — Trade union Amcu has submitted a response to platinum mining companies over its latest wage offer and it is being analysed.

"Yes, we have received a written response from Amcu," Anglo American Platinum spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said on Tuesday.

"We are reviewing the contents."

She could not provide details of the document, or say whether other mining companies had received the union's response.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey and Impala Platinum spokesman Johan Theron could not be reached for comment.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa did not respond to queries on Tuesday.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency quoted Mathunjwa as saying it submitted a response to the companies on Monday night.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at Implats, Amplats and Lonmin went on strike on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

Last week, platinum producers proposed to increase the salary of the lowest-paid workers by R1000 for two years and R950 in the third year. This excluded other benefits.

The salaries of officials, artisans, and miners would increase by eight percent in the first year and by 7.5 percent for the remaining two years. The proposed settlement was for three years.

Living out allowances would not be increased for the duration of the settlement. Pension fund contributions, overtime, holiday leave, and shift allowances would be increased annually, based on the consumer price index (CPI).

The companies also promised to pay workers backpay within seven working days of them returning to work. The backpay was for the period prior to the strike.

On Friday, Amcu said it would accept the agreement in principle but that outstanding issues needed to be settled.

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