Platinum-Strike Union to Discuss Pay Proposal at Mass Meetings

Jun 12, 2014 3:24 am ET

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s biggest platinum union will hold mass meetings with members today to discuss a wage proposal put forward last week in the country’s longest and most-costly mining strike.

The proposal, negotiated during talks led by Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, will be discussed by workers starting at 10 a.m., Jimmy Gama, treasurer for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said by text message. The government-led meetings ended June 9 without agreement.

Employees at Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin Plc have been on strike for 20 weeks over demands that their basic pay be more than doubled to 12,500 rand ($1,165) a month by 2017. The main outstanding issues between the sides were how long it would take for the companies to reach the wage demand and whether to include a housing allowance as part of the basic pay, Ramatlhodi has said.

Talks between the companies and the union have continued this week and the AMCU needs to meet members to discuss their demands, said Johan Theron, a spokesman for Impala.

“We’ve reached the end of our financial means, but what’s on the table can be presented in different ways,” he said, referring to the housing allowance.