Johannesburg - Shares of the world's third largest platinum producer
Lonmin [JSE:LON] rose 3.5% on Monday on prospects for an end to a bloody
three-week strike that has paralysed production at its operations in South
Africa, where 34 striking miners were shot dead by police last month.
Labour minister Mildred Oliphant, part of a government
committee trying to broker an end to disputes at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, said
management and workers had agreed in principle to sign a two-year wage
The minister said a deal depended on miners returning to
However, unions involved in the talks said a return to work
was by no means certain, with 3 000 rock-drill operators and other striking
miners holding out for a hefty rise in base pay.
“I don’t share the same optimism. The workers have made it
clear that they will not go back to work until such time that their wage
demands are met,” said Gideon du Plessis of the Solidarity trade union, which
is involved talks with government and other unions to end the standoff.
The Lonmin strike stems from a turf war that has flared
across the platinum sector this year between the dominant National Union of
Mineworkers (Num) and the small but militant Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (Amcu).
The Marikana strikers, a crucial part of Lonmin’s 28
000-strong South African workforce, are demanding R12 500 a month in basic
wages - over double what they receive now.
The government, unions and Lonmin are set to resume talks on
Monday on a “peace accord” which is expected to include a framework for
subsequent labour negotiations.
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