Platinum mines, Amcu in mediation over interdict

Lawyers for platinum producers and those of trade union Amcu held mediation talks in the Labour Court on Tuesday (20/05/2014).

“The matter will not be an open court hearing, there will be mediation between the parties regarding the case,” said an assistant to Judge Hillary Rabkin-Naicker, who declined to be named.

The parties first held a meeting in Rabkin-Naicker’s chambers and then later emerged and entered the courtroom.

Reporters were told to leave the courtroom to allow mediation among the parties to continue.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) general secretary Jimmy Gama said: “Negotiations are continuing between the parties.”

Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin, and Impala Platinum are opposing Amcu’s urgent interdict to prevent them from speaking directly to union members through smses.

Amcu has applied for an urgent court interdict to stop the mines from communicating a new wage offer directly to workers.

The mines have been communicating directly with their employees via sms for the past two weeks to convince them to accept a new wage offer made in April.

Amcu members at the three companies in Rustenburg in North West and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

Lonmin has warned that it might implement restructuring that could lead to job losses if striking employees failed to return to work.

This came after the employers’ talks with Amcu leaders deadlocked.

The platinum producers want the court to endorse their communication efforts to find a resolution. – Sapa

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