Amcu members to reject wage offer, insist on R12.5k

A new wage offer by platinum mines will not be accepted by striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members, the union said.

Amcu was expected to brief its members on the platinum belt in Rustenburg in the North West on the new offer on Thursday, but insisted it will not be accepted.

"The employers' offer is not close to the workers' demand of R12 500, the strike continues," said Amcu's national coordinator Evans Ramokga. "We understood the employers when they indicated that they would not afford our demand, but our other proposal to close the R7 500 wage gap over a three-year period was never addressed."

Ramokga said workers earned R5 000, and that the union suggested that the R7 500 gap be closed over a three year period after which workers would ultimately earn the proposed R12 500. Union treasurer Jimmy Gama said the union would present a new offer to workers on Thursday but was certain its members would not accept it.

New mandate
"Workers want a living wage of R12 500, the employers' offer does not address our demands. That offer will not be accepted by our members," Gama said. He said the union would take a new mandate from the workers and table a proposal to the platinum companies when they meet again on Friday. Union leaders would give feedback to workers on Thursday at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum.

The platinum producers proposed a three-year agreement on Thursday. The proposal was a 9% increase for A-level workers, 8.5% for B-level and 7.5% for C-level workers in the first year. The second year would see an 8%, 7.5% and 7% increase, and the third year a 7.5% increase for A and B-level and 7% increase for C-level workers.

The crippling strike by thousands of Amcu members at the North West platinum belt has entered a second week. The platinum companies have indicated that hundreds of millions of rands have already been lost as a result of the strike. Talks between the union and the companies, aimed at resolving the strike and mediated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), would resume on Friday. – Sapa

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