Lonmin miners reject first wage offer

Lonmin’s Marikana miners have rejected a R986 wage increase offered by management.

Striking Lonmin workers discuss a wage increase offer in Marikana, North West, on 14 September 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

MARIKANA - Lonmin's Marikana miners on Friday rejected a R986 wage increase offer.

The offer was made during talks with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), Lonmin management, unions and strike leaders on Thursday evening.

The increase would have seen entry-level workers earning R5,586 salary. The miners have been demanding salaries of R12,500.

Striking miners say the R986 increase is part of an existing 3-year wage agreement that will be implemented in October.

The wage increase offer was the first one made by management and stakeholders are now expected to return to the negotiating table this afternoon to discuss a higher deal.

Operations at the mine have been low, with less than two percent of Lonmin's workforce reporting for duty.

The strike has been dogged by violence, with a total of 45 deaths reported in the North West mining town since August.

Meanwhile, National Union of Mineworkers (Num) General Secretary Frans Baleni has apparently told the British Broadcasting Corporation that the R986 increase is "very far" from the workers demand.

Attempts to reach Baleni were unsuccessful.