JOHANNESBURG, Sept 5 South Africa's biggest
platinum mine-workers' union and the industry have failed to
reach a deal on workers' pay, the union said on Monday, raising
the prospect of industrial action in the world's top producer of
the white metal.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union
(AMCU), which led a crippling five-month strike in 2014, has
been in talks with Anglo American Platinum, Impala
Platinum and Lonmin since July this year.
"To date no progress has been made," AMCU said in a
statement. "The union has therefore officially declared
deadlocks with all three companies."
The companies were not immediately available to comment.
AMCU said it would next week separately meet Impala and
Anglo American Platinum to seek a resolution. No meeting with
Lonmin has been confirmed, it said.
Declaration of a dispute is the first step towards launching
a strike and if next week's meetings fail to find a solution,
the dispute would be referred to a government mediator in a bid
to break the impasse, failing which AMCU could give the industry
a 48-hour notice to down tools.
AMCU is demanding pay hikes of more than 50 percent for its
lowest pad members, who home take around 8,000 rand ($557) a
month, and a 15 percent hike for its higher paid members.
The demands are well above inflation at 6 percent.
South Africa has the biggest and most lucrative platinum
reserves but labour unrest and regulatory uncertainty have
dampened investors' enthusiasm.
The strike in 2014 hit the industry hard, costing it more
than 20 billion rand in lost output and forcing the companies to
cut jobs, shed mines and in some cases seek cash from investors.
($1 = 14.3602 rand)
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng and Zandi Shabalala in
London; Editing by Ed Cropley and Mark Potter)