S.Africa's Implats says most miners want to return to work - CNBC Africa

S.Africa's Implats says most miners want to return to work

Mining

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Impala Platinum said on Friday that two-thirds of its striking workforce wanted to return to work. PHOTO: Jay Caboz

According to the company, workers had indicated by text messages and phone calls that they wanted to accept the company's latest wage offer and end a 14-week strike.

[DATA IMP:Impala Platinum Holdings] spokesman Johan Theron told Reuters that workers who were unable to send texts because they have no money for air time were making use of telephones at mine recruitment offices.

"We will have a totally clear picture next week," he said.

The strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has also hit Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin, taking out 40 per cent of global production of the precious metal.

(READ MORE: Mining strikes taint S.Africa's investor confidence)

Asked for response to Implats' claim, Amcu General Secretary Jeffrey Mphahlele declined to comment.

The trio of companies last week said they would take their latest wage offer directly to the roughly 70,000 striking miners after wage talks collapsed, setting the stage for a dramatic showdown between capital and labour on the platinum belt.

Initially Amcu demanded an immediate increase of the basic wage - net salary before allowances such as housing - for entry-level workers to 12,500 rand a month, well over double current levels. It has since said it would accept annual increases that would reach this goal in three or four years.

The producers' latest offer is for wage rises of up to 10 per cent and other increases that would take the minimum pay package - the basic wage including the allowances - to 12,500 rand a month by July 2017.

LONMIN SAYS S.AFRICA MINERS HAVE UNTIL MAY 8 TO ACCEPT OFFER

The world’s third biggest platinum producer, [DATA LON:Lonmin Plc] said on Friday it had given its striking miners until May 8 to accept its latest wage offer and that they needed to be back to work by May 14.

(READ MORE: No end to S.Africa's Platinum strikes as violence looms)

Spokeswoman Sue Vey said the company still could not say how much of its workforce had indicated they wanted to return to the job. Impala Platinum said earlier that two-thirds of its striking workers had said by phone and text message that they wanted to end a 14-week stoppage.

BY: REUTERS

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