South Africa mining talks resume
Talks to end a strikes at the world's top platinum mines in South Africa resumed Monday, with the union representing tens of thousands of striking workers saying it would not scale down wage demands.
“The talks are going ahead as planned, but the workers have no desire to backtrack on their demands for better pay,” Jeff Mphahlele, the secretary general of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) told AFP.
Also attending the government-brokered talks are top mining firms, Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin and Impala Platinum.
The wage strike began on Thursday. One producer, Amplats, claimed they were losing as much as $9 million a day in lost production.
About 80,000 workers affiliated with AMCU have downed tools, in a walkout that is expected to put more pressure on the troubled industry.
The union is demanding a doubling of the minimum monthly wage to $1,150 and better working conditions. Companies have rejected the pay increase as untenable.
Amplats, Implats and Lonmin have warned that previous strikes, rising operating costs and a sharp drop in platinum prices have led to the loss of about 11,000 jobs since December 2011
While the talks continue, workers around Rustenburg, the mining town north west of Johannesburg, are gathered outside mines waiting for feedback from their leaders.
On Friday, isolated cases of intimidation of non-striking workers were reported at some mines, where police have kept a strong presence.
“Today we have had no reports of violence, striking workers are gathered near the mines as usual,” said police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.