CCMA suspends platinum sector wage talks - CNBC Africa

CCMA suspends platinum sector wage talks

Mining

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Platinum miners' strike. PHOTO: Jay Caboz/Forbes Africa

“The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has suspended the facilitated negotiations between Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) as the CCMA has deemed the respective parties’ current position to be too far apart to warrant further mediation at this stage,” said the statement released by Lonmin.

(READ MORE: Striking S.African miners meet with platinum firms)

Lonmin, [DATA AMS:ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM LIMITED] and [DATA IMP:IMPALA PLATINUM HOLDINGS LTD.] have proposed a three year wage agreement on a guaranteed package with increases ranging from 7.5 per cent to 9 per cent, the lowest paid employees receiving a 9 per cent increase in year one.

[DATA LON:Lonmin Plc.] stated that they believe the offer is well above South Africa’s current inflation rate of 5.4 percent and is higher than what other industries have offered.

“The companies acknowledge that Amcu has moved from its opening demand of 12,500 rand basic wage, however, Amcu’s revised demand yesterday evening (Tuesday 4 March, 2014), of a basic wage of 12,500 rand over four years still represents an increase of 30 per cent in year one. This is unaffordable,” added Lonmin.

(WATCH VIDEO: AMCU demands unrealistic: Platinum CEO’s)

Ben Magara, chief executive of Lonmin, stated that the platinum sector will continue to remain positive until a sustainable resolution has been found.

"We and Amplats and Implats remain, as we have been throughout this process, committed to finding a positive and sustainable resolution to the dispute in the interest of all our stakeholders and importantly for the sustainability of our business,” he said.

“We are particularly concerned about the plight of our employees who have lost six weeks of wages to date. The longer the strike continues, the greater the impact on our higher cost shafts, our ability to return to a normal operating environment and obviously on jobs. We hope that Amcu will consult its membership on these latest developments and come to appreciate the importance of resolving the wage dispute without undermining the sustainability and employment prospects of this company and indeed the industry.”

(WATCH VIDEO: How S.African mining can solve problems)

The company stated that the strike action has caused them to lose 90,000 saleable platinum ounces, and that they will not achieve their sales guidance in excess of 750,000 platinum ounces  for the full year ending 30 September 2014.

(READ MORE: Lonmin’s Production Results affected by ongoing strikes)

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