Amcu has rejected a government wage increase proposal aimed at ending a crippling five-month strike by platinum miners. Amcu’s position appeared to dash hopes that new Mines Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, who had thrown his weight behind mediation efforts, might be able to break the deadlock between the strikers and platinum producers.
“The government proposal was not a new proposal. They introduced (an old proposal) that has already been rejected by our members three months ago,” the newspaper quoted Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa as saying. He added the union was maintaining its demand for a salary increase to R12 500 a month.
About 70 000 Amcu members downed tools in January at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin in a strike that has hit 40% of global production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles. The direct result are not only increasing platinum prices, putting additional stress on car manufacturers, but also leaving the country with much needed revenue.
AMCU and their unreasonable demands are to blame for South Africa heading into a recession as the strike formula has set an example for other unions, who follow with (illegal) sympathy strikes and copycat the demands for their sector wages. It is time to put a lid on the greed and idiocy of unions that are completely out of bounds. Where is your weight and your guidance now, Dr. Zuma?