Amcu clinches 3-year deals with Lonmin, Implats

Striking platinum workers are expected to return to work on Wednesday.

Amcu members walk around the Royal Bafokeng Stadium near Rustenburg with a coffin reading ‘rest in peace NUM and Cosatu’ at the union's mass meeting on 23 June 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

RUSTENBURG - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa on Monday announced the details of a wage agreement with mine bosses.

The announcement officially brings an end to a crippling five-month strike on the platinum belt.

A signing ceremony is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Around 70,000 Amcu members at Lonmin, Implats and Amplats went on strike in January demanding an entry-level salary of R12,500 a month.

South Africa accounts for 40 percent of global platinum output.

Amcu members raised their fists and chanted "yes" when Mathunjwa asked them if they wanted to sign a three-year wage agreement.

However, the Amcu president said Monday's announcement does not mark the end of Amcu's battle for a living wage.

"It's a better agreement and everything has to have a start. So it's a good start to show that the workers are tired of the slave salary and the [poor working] conditions."

Mathunjwa outlined details of the agreement reached with the world's top three producers, which includes the reinstatement of 236 workers dismissed by Lonmin.

A photograph of a wage agreement between Amcu and platinum mines, 23 June 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

He told miners gathered at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium that three-year deals were clinched with both Lonmin and Impala.

Amplats workers will receive a R1,000 monthly increase backdating to July 2013.

Mathunjwa said Amcu changed the mining industry forever and that workers achieved in five months what other unions failed to do in 20 years.

Miners were also given a programme outlining back to work arrangements, signalling an end to the longest and costliest strike in the history of the country's mines.

He said workers will return to work on Wednesday.

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said the deal is good news all round.

"The country breathes a sigh of relief and we are very happy the strike is finally over. It took a lot of effort but I'm happy the parties finally reached a settlement."