Today's Labour News

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boardroomtableReuters reports that platinum producers kicked off talks with trade unions on Tuesday in what is expected to be a tough round of wage talks, as a rise in profits is likely to provoke higher wage demands.  

The majority union in the platinum sector, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), indicated it had presented its demands to Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and would do the same to the other producers later this week.  Amcu has demanded a hike to R17,000 a month, or around 48%, for its members.  Sibanye-Stillwater, which is also set to meet the union this week, said the platinum price has remained depressed and that the current demand was not sustainable for the miners.  Amplats and Impala Platinum (Implats) declined to comment on the negotiations.  Negotiations may prove to be tough, as higher prices for palladium and rhodium and a weaker rand currency have boosted profits at producers such as Amplats, Sibanye – now combined with Lonmin – and Implats after several years of losses.  “Amplats will probably be under the most pressure as their earnings and share price have run the most this year of the bunch,” said analyst Peter Major.

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