AMPLATS PLEASED TO REACH AGREEMENT
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced that it had signed a three-year wage agreement with Amcu, the terms of which would take effect from 1 July 2013.
“I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement which has been the result of dialogue and collaboration from both sides. However, the protracted strike has underlined broader issues facing the industry, its workforce and mining communities,” said [DATA AMS:Anglo American Platinum] chief executive, Chris Griffith.
“The entire process has been challenging for all parties involved, but we would not have reached a resolution without the dedication and support of government, in particular the Department of Mineral Resources, Department of Labour, the Labour Court, platinum producers and organised labour.”
According to the company, the agreement will see an annual increase of 1,000 rand per month in basic pay for A and B-band employees in years one and two and 950 rand per month in year three. Basic pay for C and D1 workers would increase by eight per cent per annum for years one and two and 7.5 per cent for year three.
Living-out allowances and housing rent subsidies for employees is expected to increase in line with the CPI in year one and remain flat in years two and three while housing allowance is expected to increase by eight per cent in year one and remain flat in years two and three.
It has also been agreed that no strikes will be undertaken, related to any of the items covered by the wage agreement, for the three year duration of the agreement.
AN END TO EXTREME HARDSHIPS: LONMIN
Lonmin also signed a multi-year wage deal, effective from 1 October 2013 to 30 June 2016, with the union, bringing the five month strike to an end.
[DATA LON:Lonmin Plc]’s chief executive, Ben Magara said the agreement would bring to an end to the challenges faced by all stakeholders.
“The signing of today’s agreement brings to an end the extreme hardship suffered by all stakeholders, the country, our communities, suppliers and employees, over the last five months,” he said.
“We believe that signing this agreement with our majority union is the only way forward in re-building our business.”
(READ MORE: Platinum firm Lonmin says "bleeding" from S.Africa strike)
According to the agreement, the lowest underground basic salary will increase by 1,000 rand per month for each year while, employees in C-band will receive increases of eight per cent in year one and 7.5 per cent for years two and three.
The living-out allowance will increase from 1,950 rand to 2,000 rand per month in year one and will be kept constant thereafter for the period of the agreement.
The agreement also stated that employees would receive the back-pay due to them from their 2013 increase date until 22 January 2014.
However, Magara warned of inevitable restructuring adding that it was the only way to ensure sustainability.
“Given Amcu’s prolonged strike and the continuing low PGM prices, restructuring of our business has become inevitable to ensure sustainability. Restructuring and productivity improvements are essential to curb these cost inflation pressures,” he said.
THREE MONTHS FOR MINE TO BE FULLY OPERATIONAL
Impala Platinum (Implats) stated that its agreement would also be implemented as of 1 July 2013 but that employees were expected to start returning to work on 25 June 2014.
It added that management expects it to take approximately three months for the Rustenburg operation to be fully operational from the time of re-opening.
A and B-level employees at Implats will receive an annual basic rate increase of 1,000 rand for year one and two and 950 rand for year three. C-level employees will receive an increase of eight per cent in the first two years and 7.5 per cent in year three.
All employees will be entitled to back-pay from 1 July 2013 to 22 January 2014, of which 5,000 rand for each employee will be paid within three working days of returning to work.
Living-out allowances will increase from 1,850 rand to 2,000 rand per month per employee in the first year and remain fixed thereafter.
(READ MORE: Changes in S.Africa's labour laws in light of platinum strikes)
[DATA IMP:Impala Platinum]'s chief executive, Terence Goodlace, stated that he was relieved that Amcu members had accepted the company’s final settlement offer and acknowledged the contributions made by the various authorities and senior South African government officials over the last five months.