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Platinum strike could enter fifth week

The strike in the platinum sector could enter its fifth week on Monday if negotiations fail.

FILE: Amcu members listen to Joseph Mathunjwa ahead of the union's strike on the platinum belt on 23 January 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The strike in the platinum sector could enter its fifth week on Monday if the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and platinum producers do not strike a deal soon.

Amcu says it is willing to move on its R12,500 demand on condition that it negotiates directly with the companies CEOs.

Talks to end the four week long strike stalled after the platinum companies made their final offer of between seven and nine percent this week, but this was rebuked by the union.

Independent labour analyst Gavin Brown says direct talks might work.

"I would suspect that if it takes place it would be informal and it might lead to some sort of settlement. If it takes place within the context of bargaining theatre then it's going to fail."

Meanwhile, Brown says Anglo American Platinum's threat to sue Amcu for R591 million due to production losses may be a negotiating tactic.

"At this stage it is probably more valuable as a negotiating tactic. But it's not unforeseeable that the action could go ahead."

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