Miners ease up on Lonmin

2012-09-18 09:25

Johannesburg - Strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine have cut their basic wage demand to below R11 000 a month to try to end a six-week strike that halted platinum output at the world’s third-largest producer, a negotiator said on Tuesday.

The demand is still way above the offer on the table from Lonmin [JSE:LON].

The company, which is offering increases of between 9% and 21%, has said R12 500 would put thousands of jobs at risk and challenge the viability of the business. Basic pay for most underground workers is currently around R5 400.

A Lonmin official said talks between the various parties had extended to 3 a.m. on Tuesday. They are due to resume at 10:00 GMT.

“The demands came down to below R11 000,” Bishop Jo Seoka, who has been mediating in the talks between Lonmin and workers, said. “I’m very confident that something is going to happen today.”

The strike turned violent last month, culminating in police shooting 34 miners at a rocky outcrop at Marikana, 100 km northwest of Johannesburg. In all, 45 people have died in the Marikana unrest, which has spread beyond Lonmin to other platinum firms and other parts of the mining sector.

Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats), the world’s top producer of the precious metal, said workers started trickling back to its Rustenburg mines on Tuesday after operations were suspended last week when machete-wielding strikers marched on shafts.

More details on shift worker attendance will be provided later on Tuesday.

South Africa is home to 80% of known reserves of platinum and is a major gold producer. Labour unrest this year has cost the industry R4.5bn in lost output, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

Fearing the strike’s growing impact on the economy and South Africa’s investment reputation, the government launched a crackdown at the weekend that has included deploying members of the armed forces. 

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  • Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-09-18 09:32

    Without Malema stoking the fires, things will probably settle down.

  • marc.rule - 2012-09-18 09:37

    Take the increases of between 9% and 21% and go back to work and be thankful you have a job.

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-09-18 09:50

      They are definitely not worth a 300% increase. They have to be realistic.

      juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-09-18 10:06

      The fact is with their perfomance bonuses included, they rank in the top 25% of earnings in the adult population in SA. This is just pure greed and savagery and our "leaders" want us to feel sorry for them. Unbelievable but true

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-18 09:38

    Time for these gus to get real! Their "pie in the sky"hero could soon be abandoning them! Aint life a b!t@h!

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-18 09:40

    Wonder what all the secretaries earn at Lonmin....

  • Ntshobs - 2012-09-18 09:40

    Europeans're taking miners for a ride, its very sad that ANC which claims to be pro-poor has not shown any sympathy for the miners.

      henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-18 09:52

      Not my friend, the ANC she is taking you for the ride!!!

      krad.knight.56 - 2012-09-18 09:55

      hahahahaha...u crack me up Henk...

      rontheogre - 2012-09-18 10:05

      Ntshobs, look again at mine ownership, black "entrepreneurs" like Motsepe have their fingers in many mines. Check your facts before commenting!

      juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-09-18 10:07

      The fact is with their perfomance bonuses included, they rank in the top 25% of earnings in the adult population in SA. This is just pure greed and savagery and our "leaders" want us to feel sorry for them. Unbelievable but true

      juan.prinsloo.750 - 2012-09-18 10:09

      And you are barking up the wrong tree, it's Tokyo Sexwale and Cyril Ramaposa who are capatilising most on the mines

  • Vanessa Rivas - 2012-09-18 09:45

    FIY @ News24 their wages is currently Underground Rates A3 R8164, A4 R8931, B1 R9063, B3 R11813. This is confirmed by papers handed over to us for new posts available at the Mine this morning. None of them get R5400 please fix the Facts. Regards

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-09-18 09:58

      Hhahahaha that is the funniest thing about this whole thing. The figures you refer to above are the gross figures BUT our trusty news reporters insist on reporting the gross figure the miners want and compare it to the net figure the miners earn. What a joke!!!! Be that as it may, enough of these strikes now and hopefully a solution is at hand.

      lekgotla.mothupi - 2012-09-18 10:14

      U mean u have their payslips? Please, dont correct people while u urself need to be corrected. Check payslips, dont buy to paper theories

  • sthembiso.msindo - 2012-09-18 09:46

    If they didn't stop the lunatic Malema we would be reading a different story today, thanx to the SAPS.

  • bless.boswell - 2012-09-18 09:53

    Why doesn't someone actually sit down and do a study on what the miners actually need to earn - the cost of accommodation, food travel, family expenses etc - I think that would indicate just what hardship is experienced by these workers. I cannot imagine trying to raise a family on R5400 per month. Not with what's happened to fuel and food prices. C'mon guys give the miners a decent livable wage! The management salaries cause resentment - their jobs would not exist if it were not for the miners. Perhaps management should take a cut to keep the ship afloat - now there's a plan!

  • nhlamulo.lesley - 2012-09-18 10:01

    Its nt enough

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-09-18 10:04

    All you read about is Marikana and Malema and Zuma on the news in South Africa I am sick of it. Just wish that the whole lot of them would blow away in the wind and never come back. Malema and Zuma are sensation seekers, and the Miners just want more money so pay them Lonmin and lets get this whole country back to normal. I have had enough of all this crap

      lekgotla.mothupi - 2012-09-18 10:17

      switch off ur tv or go to a country with no disputes if any...this is mzantsi, Zuma, Malema and Miners are on the news. Soon it will b ANC Mangaung. I suggest u sleep or go to gym This are results of democrasy

  • John Peter Steyn - 2012-09-18 10:12

    These guys are paid enough already. There are graduates who earn half of that

      mzukisi.max - 2012-09-18 15:19

      My brother do you mean that miners must go n sit on the wage negotiations for those graduates

  • charl.reaper - 2012-09-18 10:19

    There is a way to make it end quicker but I don't think many of you will like it. You bleed the general stock market a bit, it will cause an outcry and hit many peoples pocket and force the government to resolve the issue.

  • werner.schyns.9 - 2012-09-18 10:53

    If the wage is R4500 or R12500 ($500 - $1500) per month it is not a realistic and livable wage. BHP Biliton are paying rookie coal miners around $400 per day. Lonmin be realistic or close shop.

  • clara.viljee - 2012-09-18 14:09

    I just want to point out that I, after 41 years in my job, ended with a salary of R8200,00 per month, no increase or bonus for 5 years, and a voucher of R500,00. We were not allowed to join any union and complaints just fell on deaf ears. Whilst we, the workers (and quite a few of them were single parents) suffered along, the bosses (we worked for a professional firm) had nice overseas holidays, vehicles were turned in for new one's every years and the list can go on, and on. My point is that somewhere along the line the bosses should really become human beings and consider whether they would do the same jobs for the money earned.

  • mzukisi.max - 2012-09-18 15:13

    President must stop talking about falling down economy cz we are nt working to uplift the econony of the country if he is really leader he could,v instructed lonmin to give the workers what they want cz they work under a dangerous conditions underground n the killing is something so sad after democracy in this country bt as South Africans our tym is about to come a leader will have to send the police even during election tym one day is ono day

  • okuhle2009 - 2012-09-18 19:45

    At Mickey I opt to disagree with you. u mean black people must accept the violation of their rights and accept pathetic salaries. I am not racist but I think u r saying so because no white people were involved in the strike.

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