Platinum producers hint at restructuring

 HAPPY DAYS: Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa, centre, joins in the celebrations after the signing of the wage agreement in Johannesburg yesterday to end the five-month miners' strike. Picture: ANTON IO MUCHAVE
HAPPY DAYS: Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa, centre, joins in the celebrations after the signing of the wage agreement in Johannesburg yesterday to end the five-month miners’ strike. Picture: ANTON IO MUCHAVE

THE world’s biggest platinum producers confirmed yesterday they had signed a wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to end South Africa’s longest mining strike.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa described the deal as a victory for the workers.

But the producers — Lonmin, Anglo-American Platinum and Impala Platinum — said there were no winners in the strike.

One of the producers hinted at inevitable restructuring which might signal job cuts.

The five-month strike hit production with companies reporting a combined loss of R24-billion in earnings and R10.6-billion in workers’ wages.

“It is our sincere hope that our companies, our industry, our employees and all other stakeholders will never again have to endure the pain and suffering of this unprecedented strike period,” the chief executives of the three companies said in a joint statement.

Miners are expected to return to work today, but the companies do not expect to resume full production for several weeks.

Lonmin said restructuring of its business had become inevitable to ensure sustainability.

Amplats said it was evaluating the sustainability of all its operations to ensure the business continued to remain viable.

President Jacob Zuma welcomed the end of the strike. – AFP

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