Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 August 2010 – South Africa’s biggest mining trade union “’ The National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) “’ has said that it may agree on a wage deal with Impala Platinum Holdings, after holding talks to avert a strike at the world’s second-largest platinum producer.
“There was slight progress that has been made. The negotiators believe that they are very close together to each other, and there must be a possibility that an agreement will be reached, possibly this week,” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.
He could not immediately confirm whether Implats had raised its offer at their last meeting, which he said had been requested by the company.
Implats had so far offered a 7.5% pay rise for workers in the high income bracket and 8% for those in the lower category. The NUM is demanding a 10% pay rise across the board and R1 700 in housing allowances.
Seshoka said further talks were planned for this week, especially after a vote had shown that members were split over whether to go through with a planned labour action.
A conciliator met Impala management and the NUM last week in a bid to avert the strike, which could harm output, but the talks collapsed after the company declined to raise its offer.
South Africa has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats in both the private and public sectors this year that have led to above-inflation settlements, raising fears that the cost of living will rise.
South Africa’s inflation rate slowed to 4.2% in June.