Latest S.Africa platinum strike talks "went well": union - CNBC Africa

Latest S.Africa platinum strike talks "went well": union

Southern Africa

by Reuters 0

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa

While a newspaper reported the union had agreed to a government wage proposal.

"The meeting went well. The talks are ongoing," AMCU leader Joseph Mathunjwa told Reuters.

Separately, the Business Report newspaper said the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) had accepted a government-mediated proposal of a wage hike slightly less than their "living wage" demand of 12,500 rand ($1,163) a month to be achieved in four years.

The paper cited an unnamed source close to the government negotiating team.

New mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi's task team charged with resolving the longest strike in South African mining history met AMCU's leadership on Tuesday. It is due to sit down with the management of the three major platinum firms today.

Strike-hit Impala Platinum spokesman Johan Theron said the companies were ready to respond to the government recommendations but did not provide any details.

About 70,000 AMCU members downed tools in January at Impala, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin in a strike that has hit 40 percent of global production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.

Ramatlhodi has been praised by the hardline union for his readiness to resolve the strike in his first week in office after numerous rounds of talks fell apart.

The union is demanding 12,500 rand a month as basic minimum wage to be achieved in four years.

The companies have offered pay increases of up to 10 percent, which would raise the overall minimum pay package to 12,500 rand by July 2017, although this includes cash allowances for necessities such as housing.