Today's Labour News

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platinumbarBloomberg writes that platinum producers are preparing for significant wage demands as workers eye windfall earnings from a rally in metal prices.  

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is reported to be meeting its members across the platinum belt this week, before presenting demands to seven producers, including Anglo American Platinum, Sibanye Gold, and Impala Platinum Holdings.  Amcu will make “substantial” demands in the coming weeks, said Dick Forslund, an economist at the Alternative Information and Development Centre who has previously advised the union and made a presentation at an Amcu conference on 4 June.  The demands would go beyond Amcu’s core target for the past eight years of raising basic monthly pay to R12 500, said Forslund, adding that the lowest-paid workers currently received R10,800.  “They know platinum companies are doing well.  It would be very hard for mining companies to plead poverty,” Forslund pointed out.  In 2016, the union accepted a 12.5% wage increase after initially demanding 47%.  Two years before that, Amcu led the industry’s longest-ever wage strike.  “We expect another tough round of negotiations,” Jana Marais, spokesperson for Anglo Platinum, said.

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