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Amcu willing to put off strike for ‘peaceful’ wage negotiations, for now

The union held a briefing earlier on Tuesday and announced that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitated wage negotiations with Amplats and Sibanye-Stillwater.

FILE: 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) on Tuesday said a strike was not off the table but it would do everything in its power to conclude the platinum wage negotiations peacefully.

The union held a briefing earlier and announced that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had facilitated wage negotiations with Amplats and Sibanye-Stillwater.

Meanwhile, talks between Amcu, other unions in the platinum belt and employers are continuing.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa, who rarely backs out of a fight with mining bosses, said the union was hopeful that they could conclude negotiations without a strike.

“So we can have a demonstration without having a full-blown strike. There are many things we can do within the law. These mines must not be fooled to suggest we don’t have an appetite to strike. No, we can go on strike at any time.”

He added that while the union was committed to its long-term demand of a minimum pay of R17,000 in the sector, at this point of negotiations, Amcu members would accept just over a R1,000 increase in annual wage increases.

Historically, Amcu has embarked on lengthy industrial action after wage negotiations with mining producers collapsed.