HomeNewsMiners split over Implats strike

Miners split over Implats strike

Platinum rings – production
of the metal may soon drop
if Implats workers go
on strike
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 August 2009 – South Africa’s biggest mineworkers’ union “’ the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says the first results of a ballot of workers at platinum producer Impala Platinum (Implats) showed a split over whether to accept an improved wage offer to avert a strike.

NUM said it expected the results from all its branches later today, and gave no indication as to how many of them had so far rejected the offer.

Reuters reports that a strike at Implats “’ the world’s No. 2 platinum producer “’ could push up prices of the precious metal, used in jewellery and in catalytic converters to remove pollutants from car exhausts.

The company’s latest offer met two key NUM demands, handing it a one-year wage agreement, with a pay rise of 10 percent for all workers, but NUM negotiator Eddie Majadibodu said that for some it was not enough. “There are some branches which have rejected the offer, but we don’t know how many, as we have not consolidated all the reports yet,” he told Reuters.

The union suspended a strike at Implats mines on Sunday after a breakthrough in talks, but Majadibodu said some workers may again choose to down tools, asking for an even better deal.

“Those who have rejected the offer say they are not going to work until a better offer has been put on the table,” he added.

The union is due to meet with Implats tomorrow to discuss the dispute. It has about 18 000 members at Implats, and the company says a strike is likely to hit output from its mines.