Amcu demands face-to-face wage talks

Amcu is willing to negotiate on condition it speaks directly to CEOs of the platinum companies.

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says it is willing to move from its R12,500 wage demand on condition that it negotiates directly with the CEOs of South Africa's three biggest platinum producers.

Yesterday the union dashed any hopes of ending its month-long strike.

Talks facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration stalled after the platinum firms made their final offer of increases of between 7.5% and 9% over three years.

The latest offer by the mine bosses would see Amcu's demand be met over three years, with the companies saying their offer will not change.

Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa has accused mine bosses of being 'possessed'.

Mathunjwa wants to negotiate directly with the CEOs of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

The firebrand union leader yesterday said this may be the only way the wage strike by more than 80,000 would come to an end.

Mathunjwa has also said the strike was no longer just about a wage settlement but was now a struggle for survival and the culmination of years of super exploitation by the mining industry.

All three companies have said they cannot afford Amcu's demand and claim to be losing about R100 million a day in revenue.

Yesterday, the CEOs issued an ultimatum to Amcu to end the strike or face possible court action to have the work stoppage declared illegal.

They also made a joint plea to Amcu members to return to work, saying they've been losing 2 percent of their wages each day they haven't reported for duty.

The company is also suing the union for R591 million for losses it suffered due to the intimidation of non-striking employees.