Anglo American Platinum has tentatively agreed with South African unions to wage increases of at least 7 percent over the next three years to avert a strike, according to a draft agreement seen by Reuters on Thursday.
The draft agreement contains a “peace obligation”, which says no members of the unions “shall be entitled to embark upon any industrial action whatsoever”.
Members of the biggest union involved, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), have embarked on several, often violent, wildcat strikes in recent years.
A source at another South African platinum miner, Impala Platinum, said it had offered a similar deal that also included a “peace clause”. Implats is only negotiating with AMCU.
“We’ve learned from the recent past and decided that a peace clause is best practice,” the source said.
AMCU, known for its militancy and strident tone, had been pushing for wage hikes of close to 50 percent but said last week that it had reached “agreements in principle” with Amplats, Implats and Lonmin.
The union was supposed to have a press conference Thursday to discuss the details but canceled it abruptly on Wednesday “due to unforeseen matters.”
An agreement with Amplats, a unit of Anglo American, is an urgent matter as Sibanye Gold next week takes over its labour-intensive Rustenburg operations, which is where the company’s AMCU membership is concentrated.
South Africa’s platinum industry is still recovering from a five-month strike that AMCU lead in 2014.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by Joe Brock and Tom Pfeiffer)