Platinum wage talks enter day 2

Amcu and platinum companies remain optimistic on day two of renewed wage talks.

Amcu and platinum companies remain optimistic on day two of renewed wage talks. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Today marks exactly four months since the crippling strike commenced on the platinum belt in the North West, but the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and mining houses remain optimistic as they enter a second day of wage talks.

In an unprecedented move, a Labour Court judge is now mediating talks between mining houses Lonmin, Implats and Amplats and Amcu this week in an attempt to end the strike which has caused suffering to thousands in the area.

Amcu is still fighting for a R12,500 entry level salary, but when it approached the court this week to stop Lonmin bosses from negotiating directly with workers, the judge intervened and persuaded them to focus on the bigger issue.

There's a renewed sense of commitment from Amcu and mining bosses to resolve the wage dispute.

Mining analyst Peter Major said fresh talks are a positive step forward.

"This is definitely a breakthrough and the real issue is if the company is losing money, then it can't afford to pay the current money it has. So it's not that there's unwillingness, it's just the law of economics."

Negotiations will continue until tomorrow in the hope that the strike will end by the weekend.

The meetings are happening behind closed doors and it's unclear if Amcu will still push for the R12,500 salary.

Video: Amcu and mining houses re-enter talks.