The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) ‒ the largest labour group at Impala Platinum Holdings Limited’s South African operations ‒ says that its members have voted to strike, but it would not immediately give the company a 48-hour notice, suggesting a stoppage might still be averted.

Bloomberg News reports that the workers voted in favour of the stoppage at a meeting the union held with members near Rustenburg, in North West province, according to AMCU treasurer Jimmy Gama.

The AMCU is demanding basic monthly wages for underground workers of  US$$1,275 from the three largest South African platinum producers, where it has usurped the National Union of Mineworkers as the dominant labour representative. The companies’ profit margins have declined after prices fell and costs increased.

The AMCU rejected a pay offer of 8% for the year through June, Implats spokesman Johan Theron said on October 24. South Africa’s inflation rate was in September.

Implats offered to increase pay by 7% in the second and third years of the proposed agreement, Theron said. This would increase the total monthly remuneration of entry-level underground workers to R10,756 by the end of the cycle, with the cash portion accounting for about R7,000 rand, he said.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.