JOHANNESBURG — The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has made new and “unaffordable” demands beyond an “in principle” deal struck with producers last week, the companies said yesterday, dashing hopes of an end to a five-month strike, the worst in South African history.
The world’s largest platinum producers Impala Platinum (Implats), Anglo Platinum and Lonmin last week announced they had reached a preliminary deal with the Amcu.
Amcu put the broad pay offer to its members and striking miners urged union leaders to accept the salary increases offered, but they voiced concerns about the timeframe of the agreement and other benefits such as housing allowances.
“The response (from the union) contains new material outside the principle agreement,” Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said.
Implats said the additional demands included a R3 000 “come-back bonus” and a moratorium on all restructuring and retrenchments.
“We don’t know if the mines are going to make money one or two years from now. How do we agree not to restructure? It’s something that we could never agree to,” Implats spokespersib Johan Theron said.
Amplats and Implats said they could not afford to meet the union’s extra demands.
Amcu leaders could not be reached for a comment. Amplats was expected to meet Amcu later on Wednesday, Sithole said.
About 70 000 Amcu members downed tools in January at Amplats, Implats and Lonmin, hitting 40 percent of global production of the metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in cars and dragging the economy towards a recession. — Fin24