The first day of the strike for higher wages by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) ended peacefully on Thursday. A low turnout at the mines has been reported, with only minor skirmishes.
Implats has recorded low attendance (approximately 10%) at its Rustenburg mine following the initiation of the industrial action. Non-striking employees have been encouraged to report for work on day shifts only. “These actions are to mitigate risks of possible intimidation and violence during the industrial action,” the company said in a statement.
Some incidences have been reported of non-striking workers being prevented from entering the premises and reporting for work, but Implats has received assurances from AMCU leadership that the union will ensure discipline amongst its members.
Lonmin expects losses to be in the region of 3,100 platinum ounces per day during the strike, adding that “The South African labour relations legislation “no work – no pay” principle applies.” Implats will lose approximately 2 800 ounces of platinum per working day during the strike.
Amcu is calling for a wage of R12 500 for entry-level workers at South Africa’s three largest platinum producers: Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum (Implats).
The companies are offering between 8% and 8.5% for employees in the A- and B-band bargaining unit, which comprise category 4 to 8 employees, and 7.5% for C-band employees, which includes miners, artisans and officials.
Lonmin said it “remains committed to finding a positive and sustainable resolution to the dispute in the interests of all its stakeholders and management continues to engage at all levels to seek agreement.”