Sign, Mathunjwa, sign, urge miners | Fin24
 
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Sign, Mathunjwa, sign, urge miners

Jun 12 2014 14:57

(file, Lucas Ledwaba, City Press)

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Rustenburg - Shop stewards from striking Amcu mining union urged leader Joseph Mathunjwa to sign a wage deal with the three major platinum firms on Thursday at a dramatic mass rally crowning nearly five months of industrial action.

Cheers erupted from the crowd of thousands of miners as one senior union official took the microphone to declare: "Sign, Mathunjwa, sign."

"This union has worked. We want this money. We come from hardships. Amcu has worked. We can't take kids to school. Sign Mathunjwa," another union leader added.

Earlier, the three platinum firms - Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS], Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin [JSE:LON] - said they had reached "in principle undertakings" with the leaders of the longest strike in the history of South Africa's mines.

They did not disclose details of the offer.

"The principles that underpin the proposals seek to achieve a sustainable future for the three platinum companies for the benefit of all stakeholders and to afford employees the best possible increase under the current financial circumstances," Lonmin said in a statement.

Shares in Lonmin jumped almost 8%, while Impala Platinum stock climbed 1.5%. However, Anglo American Platinum slipped around 1%.

Spot platinum prices fell more than 2%.

The strike by the 70 000 Amcu members which started in January dragged Africa's most advanced economy into contraction in the first quarter of the year, and piled pressure on the rand because of the threat to foreign exchange earnings.

Earlier, Mathunjwa told the crowd of thousands of mine workers "it is your right to say no then say no. Say where you want things to change".

"That's why we brought it to you, this is your time, talk and tell us which way u want us to go."

platinum strike  |  labour unrest
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