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South African union presents new proposal to platinum producers


JOHANNESBURG – A new proposal from South African Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has been presented to platinum producers with the aim of ending a 19-week strike, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said.

The proposal was presented by Mineral Resources Minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, at a meeting in Pretoria with CEOs of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin Plc, the DMR said in the latest update on renewed talks to find a settlement to the strike.

The CEOs of the three companies requested time to consider the proposal as the meeting resumed on Thursday.

No details of the proposal were given but Wednesday’s meeting followed Ramatlhodi’s engagement with AMCU representatives on Tuesday, and formed part of an ongoing consultative process to resolve the current impasse in wage negations in the platinum belt in North West Province.

Also on Wednesday, AMCU President, Joseph Mathunjwa, said the strike would continue until a settlement was reached.

After meeting with mineworkers in Rustenburg, where the strike is taking place, Mathunjwa said the union was steadfast in its demands.

Mathunjwa said he saw no end to the five-month, which contradicted his earlier remarks that the strike could not go on forever.

On Tuesday, AMCU indicated that the protracted strike would end soon.

Ramatlhodi said earlier that he was upbeat about ending the strike as progress had emerged in talks with representatives from AMCU.

The union said it was hopeful that the intervention from government would end the strike which started on Jan. 23, the longest industrial action in South Africa’s mining history.

In previous talks, AMCU rejected a wage offer that would bring the striking workers’ cash remuneration to 1,200 dollars by July 2017.

The union demanded a basic salary of 12,500 rand a month, to be instituted immediately. (Xinhua/NAN)

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