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Employers are provoking Amcu to strike - Mathunjwa

Wage negotiations are now in the second month and there are fears that failure to conclude them amicably will lead to a debilitating strike affecting an already struggling economy.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa at a press briefing on 13 August 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has described the platinum wage negotiations that were underway as politically charged, warning that employers were provoking the mining union to strike.

Negotiations are now in the second month and there are fears that failure to conclude them amicably will lead to a debilitating strike affecting an already struggling economy.

Although Amcu has revised its R17,000 minimum pay demand, the union said it was shocked by some of the offers made by platinum producers.

Mining houses such as Anglo American have offered R1,000 wage increases, and Sibanye’s Rustenburg operations has tabled an offer of R700.

However, Mathunjwa’s gripe is with Sibanye-Stillwater’s newly acquired Lonmin mine.

The company has offered workers a R300 increase for the first year, R350 for the second year and R400 for the third.

“It’s not even rubbing salt on the wound, it’s just an insult. I mena the strategy is simple, it’s part two of what they did in 2012. So, they want to show that they’re in control,” Mathunjwa said.

Amcu wants R1,500 wage increases over a three-year period for entry level workers and 10% hikes for category C and D1 which is considered highly skilled.

In addition to this, are demands for housing allowances of R1,000, R2,500 for rock drill operators and inflation targeted medical aid adjustments.