ROSEBANK – The deal will see each mine worker receiving an increase of R1 000 each year for the next three years.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) finally signed the wage deal with platinum producers after four months of negotiations but vowed that the battle against job losses in the industry is about to begin.
The union signed the wage deal with Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Sibanye-Stillwater on 15 November following negotiations that commenced in July this year. The deal will see each mineworker receiving an increase of R1 000 each year for the next three years which will amount to a gross total of R5.7 billion.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said this deal will mean that mineworkers would earn a monthly salary of about R17 000. He added that workers will also receive an increase in benefits including housing allowance and retrenchment packages. “The process took long because we did not want to sign with individual companies and leave other workers behind.
“But we wanted to sign
with all the companies at once. They were offering R400 and we did not want to be derailed by capitalists. The most progressive company has been Impala Platinum which has offered workers an increase of R1 100.”
Mathunjwa added that employers were greedy and would not offer the demanded increase – despite the platinum group metals (PGM) prices doing well. He said the economic policies of South Africa were favouring capitalists and government should expect a revolution.
“The issue of wages is behind us, now we will deal with saving jobs in the industry. The economic policies of this country must change. For instance, we can’t have a high value of goods imported and a very low value of goods exported.
“There’s also the issue of industrialisation. We will go according to the Labour Relations Act and if all fails, we’ll embark on industrial or court action.”
He concluded that mines that threaten to shut down operations because they were not getting super profits, should have their licences revoked.
By Lungile Dube