Mines reject underhand tactics claims

Mines reject underhand tactics claims

2014-04-25 16:07

Johannesburg - Allegations by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union that Anglo Platinum (Amplats) [JSE:AMS], Impala Platinum (Implats) [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin [JSE:LON] used underhanded tactics in negotiations to end a three-month strike were dismissed by the platinum producers on Friday.

"The producers continue to act in good faith, in the interest of achieving a fair and sustainable outcome," spokesperson Charmane Russell said.

"We are disappointed by Amcu’s failure to do the same."

In a statement on Thursday night, Amcu claimed that the platinum producers used "underhand methods" in the negotiations.

Amcu members at Amplats, Implats and Lonmin mining operations in Rustenburg in North West and Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23, demanding a basic salary of R12 500 per month.

The three platinum companies tabled a wage increase offer of between 7.5% and 10% last week.

The proposed offer would see the minimum cash remuneration for entry-level underground workers rise to R12 500 a month or R150 000 per annum by July 2017.

Amcu claimed on Thursday that the producers would not divulge the costs of proposals on increases to the basic pay of the lowest-paid workers.

"When Angloplats (sic) eventually presented us with their calculation today after 13 weeks of the strike, it was found to be exaggerated by between R300 and R500m," Amcu said.

Russell said the companies' offers were clearly spelled out to the union and that the producers would not enter into a debate with Amcu on different interpretations of cost to company.

"Amcu has continually told us that they have no interest in what is affordable (or not) from the company’s perspective; they have told us we must focus on what the offer means to employees. We have done so."

Russell urged Amcu to take the offer to its members. The producers would now take the offer directly to employees.

On Thursday, Amcu claimed that the platinum companies "arrogantly rebuffed" its latest proposal and said it was hard to predict how members would react.

"In spite of all our efforts we were faced with complete intransigence and games of smoke and mirrors," the union said.

"We are left with the strong impression that there is a hidden agenda at play."

Amcu would work out a strategy with its members "to break their intransigence and arrogance".

"This will include solidarity actions and efforts with our brothers and sisters all over the world where these companies operate and market their metals."

Amcu said it remained optimistic that a solution could be found to end the strike.

Russell said every day that passed without a resolution to the strike threatened the industry's sustainability.

"In an industry where almost half of operations were not making a profit before the strike began, and where employee costs comprise 50 to 55% of operating costs, an increase of between seven and 10% for employees is at the upper limit of what is affordable."

In terms of the companies' offer last week, the minimum cash remuneration (comprising basic wages and holiday, living-out and other allowances) for entry level underground employees rises to R12 500 per month or R150 000 per annum by July 2017.

For Lonmin employees this reflects an increase in cash remuneration for the highest-paid employees of 7.5% and an increase for the lowest earners of 9.5%.

For Amplats and Implats employees, this is an increase in cash remuneration of 7.5% for the highest-paid employees and an increase of 10% for the lowest earners.

  • philip.buys.1 - 2014-04-25 16:49

    Bye bye Amcu, you will not be missed. You got your f in woodwork, so go home.

      Imagine Sense - 2014-04-25 19:29

      "Amcu would work out a strategy with its members "to break their intransigence and arrogance"." Maybe its Amcu's intransigence and arrogance that's going to break! Amcu "has no interest in what is affordable .." So who must pay the salaries if the mines cannot afford it?

      Godfrey Welman - 2014-04-26 00:01

      Let us hope SA in not heading for Marikane 2.

  • Frans Rabalao - 2014-04-25 17:02

    AMCU I thank you a lot to stand for us not like NUM jc eating our money but not benefiting us .

  • John Bass - 2014-04-25 17:13

    Goodbye Joseph. Your days in "charge" of AMCU are coming to an end rapidly.

      Nthute Ramfate Days - 2014-04-25 17:58

      You so wish John and for your info an increase that is given in details must match it's figures, your brothers thought that won't be seen but since we have a truthful leader it was discovered before they sign nd all i can say is go to hell but believe me you won't take our minerals with you. We are waiting for the mine bosses to come to us nd that will be so regretfully bad. Visa AMCU

  • Dred Rovers - 2014-04-25 18:59

    Its "smoke and mirrors" to AMCU because you're ability to understand the basic financials are rather limited I'm afraid!

  • Vincent Sutherland-Dadds - 2014-04-25 19:32

    Let AMCU reap as at has sown! Unrealistic demands will give logical results. No solution. Wake up now or see your AMCU die!

  • Zahir - 2014-04-26 16:31

    Time to close shop amcu before the miners come after you with pangas

  • Alicat Cat - 2014-04-27 00:58

    The stupid idiot sing Asijiki as if they own a Company. Its up to u miners 2 dicide what is best for ur Family, if its mathunjwa wait for him 1 day when he is read to let u go to Work. If its UR Family u better wake up @ go to work. u a already late but u can still make it, the decition is on ur Hands take or leave it.

  • Thapelo Mohale - 2014-04-27 08:52

    i just dont get it..,you miners have survived with little money long time ago..and i dont know where does this introduction of 12 500 came from,last 2 year you lost your coleaques this year you will lose your families and jobs.....go back to work,for your life to be normal again

      Moss Montshiwa - 2014-04-27 09:39

      You are an idiot,you talk like u r in the bottle full of water stupid?????

  • Arnold Verster - 2014-04-30 16:55

    The strike started as a majority decision triggered by statements from people seeing an opportunity to score political points from the Marikana situation. The urge to strike however faded away soon as the workers realized that what was promised, is not achievable. Their families and especially their Children are suffering while the Union Leaders and other political influences, still live in luxury with no financial constraints. Within one month they wanted to return to work but then: the minority rule was enforced and they could not start working.They claim (and I often speak to them) to be monitored on a daily basis by people visiting their homes to ensure that they don't go to work. Their family's life and safety are at risk and they have no other option than to stay at home. These intimidators are all young men and work in groups. Whether these people are employed by AMCU or by some other political grouping, I don't know. I want to make a plea to AMCU to please stop what you are busy with. Your members, their children and the whole community are struggling. Businesses are retrenching people or close down. The Taxi industry in and around the affected areas are going down. If the strike last much longer, your members may receive a higher pay, but they will have to use much more money to get transport to take them to Pretoria or Johannesburg in order to buy a bread. Please AMCU and friends. Put your pride in you pockets and consider our people. THEY SUFFER!!!!!!!!!!!!

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