25 June 2014

South Africa: Platinum - the End, the Deal, the Impact


It's in ink: the platinum strike at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum is over. After the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) signed the deal on Tuesday, GREG NICOLSON looks at what the agreement entails and what it could mean for the future.

Firstly, let's look at what's in the agreement. After five months on strike, each company has agreed to a three-year deal with AMCU backdated to last July at Amplats and Implats and October at Lonmin. For much of the negotiations, the platinum producers chose to negotiate jointly, but three agreements were signed on Tuesday, each with slight differences.

At all three companies, workers receiving a basic wage of less than R12,500 per month will get R1,000 increases per month for two years. That means up to 20% increases in the first year, obviously decreasing thereafter. Lonmin will pay a R1,000 increase in the third year, while Amplats and Implats will pay R950.

Higher paid workers will get 8% increases a year for two years at Amplats and Implats; then 7.5% in the last year. Lonmin will give those workers 8% for one year, followed by two years of 7.5%. By the end of the...

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