(Picture: Lucky Nxumalo/City Press)
Johannesburg - Striking miners who belong to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is demanding that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) not be allowed to operate at Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats).
Operations at two Amplats mines ground to a halt as 5 600 employees embarked on a wildcat strike, the company said.
The striking miners made a list of demands.
Amplats said employees at its Thembelani and Khuseleka 1 mines were demanding it rehire 19 shop stewards with Amcu.
They were dismissed last week for orchestrating an illegal protest that prevented other workers from returning to the suface from their shift in the mines.
Amplats said the miners further insisted it suspends plans to cut up to 6 000 jobs in a bid to restore profits.
"They are also demanding that the company should provide a guarantee that the (rival union) NUM will not be allowed to return to the operations," said spokesperson Bongeka Lwana.
Amcu last week refused to sign a government-brokered stability pact aimed at defusing tensions in the mining industry ahead of tough wage talks.
Amcu is demanding Amplats more than double the monthly pay of entry-level underground workers to R12 500, an increase the company can ill afford.
The exact cost of the demands made by Amcu are hard to pin down because Amplats, unlike rivals Impala Platinum (Implats) [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin [JSE:LON], does not disclose its minimum wage for entry-level miners.
NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters Amplats' basic wage is the lowest in the sector, which would probably put it between R4 000 and R4 500 a month.
The basic cash wage is not the only benefit workers receive or the only labour-related cost to the company, but it is usually the starting point for wage talks.
Amplats shares have fallen by more than 35% this year while the price of platinum has dropped by nearly 13%.
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