Implats workers want to double wages

2012-09-11 08:00

Johannesburg - Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP], the world's No.2 platinum producer, said on Tuesday workers had demanded a second pay hike this year, to effectively double their wages in six months, the latest sign of labour unrest in the sector.

The demand comes as South African miners grapples with a wave of strikes that last month led to the death of 44 people, 34 at the hands of the police.

The unrest has also spread to gold producers, with Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] reporting that 15 000 miners had embarked on a wildcat strike at its KDC operations.

Implats granted workers an increase after a strike shut down production at its key Rustenburg operations in January and February this year, but the platinum producer says workers now want more.

"We believe that current tensions are an issue for the entire industry," said Implats chief executive Terence Goodlace in a statement.

He said that profit margins were under severe pressure "with consequences for all concerned".

South Africa's platinum industry has been struggling to survive as input costs such as electricity have spiked and metals prices fall.

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  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-11 08:18

    Surely this whole thing is being orchestrated?

      jurie.nel.3 - 2012-09-11 08:44

      Looks like it, Larry - but I am always careful to cry "conspiracy!" or "third force activity". There certainly are a few apparent factors, like the widening rift between ordinary union members and highly paid union bosses, in terms of haves and have-nots. Also in terms of contact between members and union bosses - which is probably too infrequent, with the result that union bosses, who are no longer on the "shop floor", resemble mine bosses more than they resemble mine workers. They are, therefore, more difficult to identify with. And where are the union bosses when their role is to say to the workers no - you will have to wait until the next round of negotiations? I believe this rift is far, far more serious than is generally realised.

      mfrater - 2012-09-11 08:50

      Greedy swines. This is exactly why Marikana cannot give in. If one does they will open the door to countless more 'violent' strikes as all blue collar workers will simply play copy-cat to get what they want.

      mfrater - 2012-09-11 09:18

      Question: How much has really changed in SA since Shaka Zulu days? These jokers still mob together wielding asagais and shields, chanting and whistling and chasing white rabbits, throwing their bones and taking magic muti from sangomas. It's like reading a fictional book based on Voortrekker days, except, its REAL! ANC wants equality? How can you put these backward hooligans in managerial positions, using laws to force them into corporations, clearly they are not ready to work - period? I mean really! Get real. Face facts. RE-EDUCATE your people and remove all the ancestral brainwash BS! Give them a proper understanding of life and how it ACTUALLY works, then train them and put them to work. Sheeesh.

      kaykay.son.50 - 2012-09-11 09:42

      @MWF I am very sure after few hours of sobering your mind you are regreting calling people swines. It is important that emotions be surpressed most of the times when dealing with issues. On the same note, emotions is what cause people to behave the way they do and hence loss of life recently. Fast forward, if African way of iving was against the norms of life, African eople would be instinct and white people would not have found anyone in Africa (not only South Africa but Africa). You turn to forget that the views of how things go in life (for an African man) were mutilated by the white man who taught a black man to hate himself (the only successful thing a white man achieved in Africa). Is there a way that a white man can convince the many uneducated people in all rural areas and some in the townships that "a white man is not the only employer and not all white people have money or rich"? If one can succeed in reversing that, then maybe we will head somewhere. I say this as a black man who was lucky to defy odds in my rural backround and got educated. The fact that I have a house in a suburb, I am considered "umlungu". And the reason is one.: We only knew every good things to be belonging to white people and that every white man is a "BAAS". Education for us was only to become a teacher, a nurse or clerk. The minors know only one thing that white people are making too much money compared to what they get paid.

      mfrater - 2012-09-11 09:47

      @Kaykay, and I'm sure when you sober up and leave the shabeen, you will smell the coffee and realize that the world is a different place, one where a sangoma is best left to the comedy movies and spears and shields best left to the museums and history channel. One where working for a living is a reality and where the material possessions you own have to be hard earned. One where killing for money is not a solution and one where education goes further than catching white rabbits and drinking concoctions to get what you want out of life.

      mfrater - 2012-09-11 10:20

      @Heibrin, Well said.

      kaykay.son.50 - 2012-09-11 10:42

      There is a lot that need to be done and it will take a long time. Instead of calling people swines and pigs, why don't we look at where the problem is and try to tackle it. It is only the negative attitude that people show and have which lead to disasters like these. I am sound insane, but coming from a rural area and understanding the mental change in me because of education, I think of myself in the same shoes as those people who not as lucky as I was. And hence I say instead of calling my friends, cousins, brothers and uncles, "SWINES" I better go back and see where and how can I fast track the help we are trying to do. While the government is acting in the opposite direction as well.

      mfrater - 2012-09-11 11:19

      @kaykay, you can start by informing/educating your friends, cousins, brothers and uncles and telling them to vote for a new government. You can no longer blame apartheid, its been over for more than two decades and your people have been the ones in power for two decades. Yet now, your people live in worse conditions than under apartheid. You should know this, since you "lived through it". Stop blaming the white man for all your short-comings (its getting really old now - are you going to keep doing this for another hundred years before you realise there are no white people left to blame and then still find yourselves in failure - take a look at Zim and Moz) and start taking ownership of your own actions and their subsequent consequences. I have black neighbours living in a fancy house right next to mine. They are decent, quiet and friendly people - I will be first to admit that. The sad thing is, my neighbours are judged by the actions of their majority (this is the same, the world-over). Yet, these neighbours do not choose to get involved in the community or stand up against the morons like the ANCYL, the just keep quiet, they have benefited from BEE/AA/EE and they do not want to rock the boat I guess. Who knows.

      kaykay.son.50 - 2012-09-11 12:57

      @MWF I like the fact that when we talk issues, we discuss them with rationale. I am vry sure you went back to read my first response above and saw I had an impression that you were responding with emotions and hence the unfortunate naming "swine". Most of us (including your neighbour) are facing a mamoth task and hence I said before that I do not necessarily expect a white man to understand it. It is even difficult to convince my own children how I grew up and how I went to school. My own kids do not understand that I only had access to TV when at university by visiting friends who had one to watch football. Blaming apartheid is not going to help any course. Hence I say we need to work together towards a common purpose. Educating grown ups without hope and a crafted mentality is not easy. hence they can easily be deceived to do what they did and continue to do at Marekana. We can't take everyone to live with us at the suburbs, but we can only try bit by bit to instill some believe and a different mind set to our fellows back home. It is difficult but we are trying and hence sometimes we respond differently when we read some extreme comments here. I cannot blame apartheid for my failures today e.g. if I am broke. but someone else can easily say it is because I support people who are unemployed and pinned down by apartheid. it is up to me to realize I view things differently.

      kaykay.son.50 - 2012-09-11 13:00

      Debate is important, but you will realize that some of the comments were removed here. Both mine and theirs and that live one with a lot of questions. Are we debating constructively or destruction is the norm? Only those who take it to heart can tell better.

      KennySven - 2012-10-17 09:37

      If the workers are not happy, get a job elsewhere,but don't perform like idiots.

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-09-11 08:33

    Orchestrated by the ones who want to nationalise the mines? Lessen the share price by stepping up the cost of doing business in South Africa? Maybe Malema and Lamola are behind this. I think the best remedy is of the ANC NEC, with their considerable shareholding in South African mining to take these naughty boys outside and give them a good hiding.

      frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-09-11 08:57

      Once a demand is met under these circumstances, you lost your bargaining power for good. The only way is to make a stance and fire the whole bunch, lock them out of your property and shoot to kill if they fail to behave like human beings. If they hamper the survival of your business, take them out or close shop and let them starve. If I was in charge of a mine as a foreign investor, I'll pack the shafts with explosives and just after putting the lights off, blow the place to smithereens. If they want to nationalize the mines, let them start from scratch and do the hard work associated with a successful business. Damn leeches!!

      heathway.master - 2012-09-11 09:09

      Malema wanting to make the mines ungovernable flies in the face of Zuma's chant of "more jobs" "more jobs" for all.The miners want double digit pay increases when the financial articles state that Lonmin made a 3 billion rand loss this financial year. Another very significant statistic is that the educational standard in SA, caused by the ANC's (Not Apartheids) chaotic education policy since they took over, has resulted in SA education standard having been downgraded so that the country is placed 140th out of 144 countries that have been studied. The countries with a worse education system include Libya and Yemen. The ANC must be lauded for this achievement. With such an uneducated population, striker’s crazy demands against all logic, can be explained. I would estimate that whites comprise 5% or less of all employees at the mines, yet Julius and the masses et al, want to destroy this leadership base, and replace it with semi-educated incompetents. The masses attitudes of greed, envy and entitlement, have led them to believe that economically unsustainable salaries are the right of all previously disadvantaged, notwithstanding the relatively low levels of skill, and management ability they have, to run a very complex mining industry. They envy the better paid executives of the mines, who single handedly keep the wheels rolling and make their operations sustainable and profitable, and feel that because of black rule, they deserve similar benefits and living standards.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-09-11 08:33

    @ Larry I agree it is being orchestrated. This whole mining industry is now being used as a political springboard by Malema & Co.

  • wendy.schneider3 - 2012-09-11 08:43

    is this the first word that they get tought "demand.... demand.... demand! how about you dubble your production also?

  • julius.hond - 2012-09-11 08:46

    this is all political. all a stage for fat boy

  • nickey.vanrensburg - 2012-09-11 08:48

    This is why you DO NOT give in to demands. Implats gave in during Jan/Feb, gave the guys what they wanted. Strikers got away with they want more. They've got the mines by the balls now....

      jonas.moacwiemang - 2012-09-11 08:51

      They didn't gt wat they want.

      nickey.vanrensburg - 2012-09-11 08:59

      What do you mean ? They got a raise after the strike in Jan/Feb ??

  • jonas.moacwiemang - 2012-09-11 08:49

    Is not nationalization workers are demanding better salary.

  • andre.vaneeden.14 - 2012-09-11 08:50

    Put production targets in place, linked to the metal prices, and should it be reached they get production bonuses, if not then to bad. You must work for your money

  • kabelo.mocwane - 2012-09-11 08:54

    Guys, please leave Malema alone. Our country is fast running out of minerals and our people remain poor. We can't afford a situation where these companies pride themselves of being number 1, 2, or so in the world while people are not being paid. They must reduce their profits and pay the people. There is no other solution.

      spokazijojo - 2012-09-11 09:14

      It never works like that in the business world bhuti, they signed contracts i.e. they knew what they were getting themselves into. Businesses must make profits to attract investors otherwise they will close down leaving the employees jobless. Economics 101.

      gary.bloom.967 - 2012-09-11 09:51

      How about if you don't like working for a salary then go and find another job. I'm sorry, but what you just wrote is total dribble.

      steve.elske.7 - 2012-09-11 13:40

      Kabelo are you saying Malema's comments calling for a national strike must be ignored? Clearly after the ruling party had him on a suspended sentence and then expelled him. The point here is his presence makes matters worse.

  • mike.johnson.7399 - 2012-09-11 08:55

    On the one hand we have the miners striking and making unrealistic demands, with every possibility in the mines closing down, resulting in the strikers losing their jobs. Then on the other hand we have the likes of SAA and Woolies imposing racist policies not to employ those who want to work, because of the colour of their skin. A bizaar country we live in!

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-11 08:56

    Please tell me am dreaming,Demanding double wage two times within ayear? The best solution is to fire these lackadaisical and thankless parasites and hire other ppo.

  • justindeklerk - 2012-09-11 09:00

    If I went on strike demanding double my salary I would be fired! But I have to accept that in this country different rules apply for whites and blacks. And also this reverse apartheid is my fault as a white man because of apartheid 50 years ago! Only in SA does this primitive and barbaric logic make any sense!

      lucky.mpoza - 2012-09-11 09:17

      hey you stupid fool we, blacks, are also facing the same. what rules are you talking about?

  • bevan.carpenter.1 - 2012-09-11 09:01

    Crowd mentality, its going to get to a point where the mine will close and there will be no increase, no salary, no job anymore then what, blame the unions for them losing their jobs?

  • bongani.nsele.58 - 2012-09-11 09:01

    raw materials, peoples labour and their technology is what drives communities is what drives countries and is what gets the world going without this there are no fancy CEOs "trained" in their pHDs, so honour thy workers you mining fatcats

  • kenny.bianco.7 - 2012-09-11 09:07

    Malema, I hope u will feed those poor ppl when the mines close, u talk abt know nothing abt apartheid, talking abt workers? You never worked in ur life,so shut the hell up fatboy, we are sick and tired of u, if u wanna fight with your ANC choose another place not here, you nd ur chihuahua Ronald

  • tj.maseko3 - 2012-09-11 09:08

    This is absurd mine give us increase and ajustment in march no one complened what's now? Workers are.been used by clever guys to gain 4rom them

  • danielle.vlok - 2012-09-11 09:08

    Why is government not stepping in here? Has no-one bothered to think of the Economic implications if these mines shut down?

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-11 09:16

    Stand in solidarity, miners its now time to demand and fight for what is due to you - enough of this fat cats taking all the profits and bonuses, its now your time

      steve.elske.7 - 2012-09-11 13:47

      I agree with you Tshepo but what if the fat cats decided they have enough money and close the mine down? Where does that leave everyone?

  • erick.mamba - 2012-09-11 09:19

    Blame Malema and co, these miners were happy with the pay-hikes received in Jan/Feb..But that Mentally-challenged boy(Malema) told them they are earning peanuts while the mine-owners (Motsepe) rakes-in billions. Hence, the crazy demands and strikes. They want nationalisation at all cost..

  • Leonard Mokgotlhwe - 2012-09-11 09:49

    This AMCU thing is not working for US, they production as they like and go on illegal strike we lose money of two to three days every month.If you take look at the members of AMCU they live in skwatter camp not because they cannot stay company subsidize houses they dont want to stay there. when they go on strike they dont have nothing to lose.Most members of Amcu are from Eastern Cape and Lesotho and look at level education of the people from this two places is very low. They too much traditional people so anybody from easter cape can promise anything they go for it.That is what is happening at Impala and Marikana.They belief in violence.

  • Goboza Mashaba - 2012-09-11 10:23

    Its about bloody time.....economic emancipation we've been longing for. Our Consitution clearly stipulates that the people shall share the wealth of the country (foriegners not included) but it the opposite in Mzansi. So called foreign investors are digging our wealth and will leave it dry and unworthy. The country and its people will remain still poor and nothing to show of God-given wealth. If they decide to close mines and go back then let it be ad we are still suffering while they smile all the way to world bank.

      johann.shepherd.5 - 2012-09-11 12:25

      For sure - no doubt. But what they are doing doesn't solve the problem. It might bring light to the fact that workers are undepaid ( not only miners ), but all they are doing by staying away from work is decreasing the value of their jobs. If the money ( value of the business - profits - margins ) decreases because of unrest, then there is less money to pay the all increases. its a snowball . . . the best way to sort it out is the right way - mediation !!

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-09-11 11:49

    Fire the lot - ungrateful arrogant greedy lazy workers

  • johann.shepherd.5 - 2012-09-11 12:19


  • steve.elske.7 - 2012-09-11 13:26

    Do you only strike for money?

  • marc.ross.965 - 2012-09-11 15:04

    Time to start a Tax Payers Union.(TPU) I am sick of handing over money to SARS so the majority of the country can burn and destroy at will. Or maybe its time for Seperate Countries for seperate civilizations.

  • deon.louw.73 - 2012-09-11 18:49

    No good deed goes unpunished in Africa!!

  • martin.andersen.14473 - 2012-09-12 10:54

    See how many of you who are criticising the miners can survive on R4000 a month.

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