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Mathunjwa: No platinum worker will earn less than R8k

Mpho Raborife

As miners are expected to return to work on Wednesday, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa says an R8 000 minimum basic salary is a breakthrough.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa. (Gallo)

No platinum worker will earn less than R8 000 as a basic salary, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa said in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“No worker in the platinum sector will earn less than R8 000 as a basic salary, which is a breakthrough ... Back pay will be paid in seven days,” he told reporters. Mathunjwa said Amcu would continue the fight for R12 500, which it believed each member would earn by 2017. 

“[This] is the highest wage increase achieved, with entry-level workers receiving up to 18% increase. “Amcu is committed to make sure R12 500 minimum wage is reached by 2017.” 

When asked how he felt about being called a communist by some, Mathunjwa said: “As long as it brings food on the table, that is what is important”. Workers were expected to return to work on Wednesday at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum. 

“The platinum sector workers have fought a good fight. It has transformed the sector to be worker-driven [and] has improved the socio-economic conditions of our members.” 

No workers would be retrenched
Mathunjwa said no workers would be retrenched and the union would not strike on any of the matters included in the three agreements. 

“[The companies] cannot embark on a restructuring process because they need to bring the mine [back] into productivity.” He said the union had not received anything from the companies about restructuring. All workers who had been dismissed would be reinstated, including 235 essential services workers that Lonmin fired in May. 

A task team would be set up to address all issues not concluded during negotiations. On January 23, Amcu members at Lonmin, Amplats, and Implats downed tools, demanding a monthly basic salary of R12 500. Amcu announced on Monday that the platinum strike was officially over. It signed a wage agreement on Tuesday. – Sapa

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