Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 31 August 2009 – A strike at Impala Platinum “’ the world’s No. 2 producer of the precious metal “’ will continue, and there is no scheduled meeting to resume wage negotiations between workers and the company, according to union officials.
Reuters reports that some 20 000 workers at Impala Platinum have been on strike since last Monday at the company’s biggest mine in Rustenburg, demanding a 14% wage hike.
“The strike is going on as far as we are concerned,” said National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) chief negotiator at Implats, Eddie Majadibodu.
He added that the union was willing to resume talks, but company officials were not immediately available when Reuters contacted them.
“We are prepared to engage with the company. We wanted to talk on Wednesday but they refused to talk to us and took us to court instead. We think the ball is in their court now,” Majadibodu told Reuters.
He said strikes were ongoing at the Rustenburg and Marula mines in Limpopo, while workers in Springs, east of Johannesburg, were talking about the possibility of joining in.
Implats chief executive David Brown has pointed out that he could sack thousands of workers who had threatened to spread the strike to all the company’s operations.
Implats has said it will not bow to the union’s pay hike demands, after reporting that annual earnings had halved and costs had risen by more than a third.
Industrial action is also affecting production at smaller producers Platmin Limited and Aquarius Platinum, which have sacked striking workers.