Anglo American Platinum offered a new wage to South African workers who have been on a strike that's affected 40 percent of global output of the industrial metal.
Since South African miners started the strike 12 weeks ago, platinum has been hit extremely hard. Anglo American Platinum is the world's top producer and Impala Platinum is the second biggest. Together, they account for nearly 50 percent of the world's production, so the urgency of getting their miners back to work cannot be understated.
"This settlement offer has been made in the interests of bringing an end to the debilitating 12-week strike that has crippled the platinum sector and has brought untold hardship to employees, their families, communities and the companies," Amplats said.
The new wage would increase the basic salary to all underground workers to 12,500 rand a month by 2017. The union has been demanding doubling the current basic wage, or an immediate rise to 12,500 rand that's guaranteed for three years. The latest meeting involved officials on both sides at the highest levels, including the chief executives of the three companies affected by the strike, AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa and South African Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.
So far, Amplats, Implats and Lonmin (the third largest producer) have lost $1.3 billion in revenue, which makes this the most damaging South African mining strike in generations.
The negotiations between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union are scheduled to continue on April 22, after the four-day Easter holiday weekend.
Salary is paramount in rankings of workers satisfaction, on par only with safety. And nothing says safety like an equipment monitoring system, which can prevent dangerous accidents and mine downtime.