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Platinum producers and the AMCU set to continue wage talks

by , 23 April 2014

Last week, the platinum producers affected by a three-month strike tabled a new offer to the union. Talks resumed yesterday between producers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). They're set to continue today. Let's take a closer look at what's going on…

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The platinum producers’ new wage offer is a step closer to the AMCU’s demands

Yesterday, the Chamber of Mines said talks between the world’s top three platinum producers and the AMCU are to continue today, reports Fin24. Spokeswoman for the chamber, Charmaine Russell, said there was “no update” regarding yesterday’s talks and “the meeting is expected to continue”.

Members of the AMCU downed tools on 23 January over wage demands. The strike affects top platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

The union wants “’basic pay’ for entry-level mine workers [to] be increased to R12,500 a month over four years – by July 2017,” reports BDLive. Last week’s offer by the platinum producers increases the workers’ packages to “R12,500 a month over five years – in effect by 2017”.

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Will a new wage deal emerge soon?
Despite the new offer by the platinum producers kick starting talks between the two parties, will it be enough to bring an end to the lengthy strike?

Investec Asset Management and SBG Securities believe “a resolution may be weeks away,” says Bloomberg. So far, the strike has cost producers “R14.2 billion in sales and workers R6.3 billion in wages”.

Dr Azar Jammine, the chief economist at Econometrix told the SABC he thinks a deal “is going to be reached now because at the moment all sides are losing out so badly that they have to somehow reach some compromise”.

By market close, “shares of the mining companies… [and] the platinum index ended higher in anticipation of a breakthrough,” adds the SABC.

With talks set to continue today, time will tell if the two parties can come to an agreement. And bring an end to the crippling strike in the sector.

Platinum producers and the AMCU set to continue wage talks
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