No confirmation on platinum wage agreement

FILE PICTURE: A large gathering of striking miners on 12 June 2014 at Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana, North West. Strikers waited for their spokeman to discuss the new proposed wage increase offer. They were in high spirts singing and dancing after many months of striking. Picture: Valentina Nicol

There was no confirmation from the mining sector regarding a report on Monday that Amcu had accepted the wage deal in the platinum sector and that workers would return to work this week.

“We haven’t signed an agreement with Amcu but are in contact with them and are hopeful to reach an agreement soon,” Implats spokesman Johan Theron said.

The New Age reported on Monday that workers were expected to return to work on Tuesday after Amcu president Joeseph Mathunjwa was allegedly forced by shop stewards to accept the wage deal.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members at Impala, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin went on strike on January 23 for a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

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.

Mathunjwa and Charmane Russell, for the producers, could not be reached for comment.

Amcu treasurer Jimmy Gama and Bishop Jo Seoka, who has been involved in the talks, could also not be reached.

– Sapa

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