Amcu, Lonmin hope to avoid strike when wage talks resume

The strike led by Amcu in 2014 hit platinum producers hard.

FILE: Talks aimed at ending a crippling six-week-long platinum miners’ strike fell apart on 5 March. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - As mining union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) prepares to start wage talks in the platinum sector next week, both the union and mine bosses hope to avoid a strike.

Last week, the union resurrected its demand for a R12,500 minimum wage per month which amounts to a 56 percent raise.

The union is also demanding housing allowances of R6,500 at Anglo American and R5,000 per month at other mines.

The strike led by Amcu in 2014 hit platinum producers hard forcing them to cut jobs, close mines and in some cases make cash coaster investors.

Amcu's Jimmy Gama says they hope the sector won't see a repeat.

"A strike is something that's not in our mind at this point in time."

Lonmin's Sue Vey says they're optimistic they will find common ground.

"Under the current circumstances, I think no one can afford to have a strike."

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has appealed to workers and employers to keep the economy in mind when they make decisions during wage talks.