Platinum workers to consider new offer

NEGOTIATIONS between strike-hit platinum producers and union Amcu are expected to resume today following a new wage offer.

Lonmin‚ Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum (Implats) have announced a revised offer‚ extending to 2017‚ with increases of between 7.5% and 10% across the various bands of employees‚ with relevant allowances rising in line with inflation.

This would take the minimum wage to R12500 within three years.

Implats had not received formal feedback from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) since the new offer was tabled on Thursday night‚ spokesman Johan Theron said yesterday.

"We will have to wait and see how we will progress on negotiations from tomorrow when we meet again‚" he said.

The proposal would see entry level underground employees' minimum cash remuneration‚ comprising basic wages and holiday‚ living out and other allowances‚ rise to R12500 a month‚ or R150000 per annum by July 2017.

Remuneration excludes medical and retirement benefits and bonuses.

Amcu's latest publicised demand has been for a basic wage of R12500 within three years.

The union launched a strike fund last week‚ and appealed for assistance for workers‚ who have lost an estimated R6-billion in pay since the strike started on January 23.

Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said the platinum mining firm would be part of today's meeting‚ to be facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration.

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey could not be reached for comment.

The 12-week strike has so far resulted in R13.6-billion in revenue lost by companies‚ according to the Chamber of Mines website.

Thousands of Amcu members downed tools on January 23 after having previously rejected a wage increase of up to 9%. – BDLive