The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is demanding that platinum miners pay employees “a living wage” of R17,000.
The union’s signature demand had been R12,500, which dates back to 2012.
The demand led to mineworkers embarking on an unprotected strike that year which culminated in the tragic Marikana massacre.
The union said it took the decision to increase its demand from R12,500 to R17,000 based on the advice of renowned economist, Dr Dick Forslund
“Dr Forslund’s research confirmed that our demands are realistic and that our signature demand of R12,500 has been eroded by inflation. He worked with a very conservative formula of an average of 4,5% inflation over the past years since 2012,” the union said.
This led Amcu to now demand for a living wage of R17,000 per month.
“We believe that R17,000 is the minimum amount that a worker needs as a basic salary. It is a small price for the hard work and daily risks to life and limb our members face,” the union said.
Furthermore, the union said it was interesting to note that platinum companies in South Africa have been “comfortably profitable since 2017”, due largely to the commodity appreciation in the Platinum Group Metals (PGM).
“We are really glad that it is going so well with platinum, and it is high time that the bosses share their hyper-profits with the workers who toil every day.
“We also clearly remember how Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman bragged, during our five-month strike in gold, that he was making handsome profits in platinum. Now it is the time to share. Mr Froneman also said that he raised almost R2 billion in order to fight Amcu during the platinum negotiations. We call on him to rather use this money to improve the lives of his employees who are our members.”