Is there finally an end in sight to South Africa’s costly three-month long platinum strike? On Thursday, South Africa’s largest platinum producers finally broke the stalemate with striking union workers, making a new wage offer that will push the overall salary package of all their underground workers to R12 500 a month by 2017.
Strike-hit Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s top producer, and Impala Platinum (Implats), the second-biggest, said in separate statements they had offered annual increases of 7.5% to 10%, compared with an earlier offer of as much as 9% per year. Lonmin has not yet stated whether it will offer a similar deal.
Talks between the companies and leaders of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) are scheduled to continue today, which producers hope will bring an end to the ongoing strike at their mines that has hit 40% of global output of the industrial metal.
“This settlement offer has been made in the interests of bringing an end to the debilitating 12-week strike that has crippled the platinum sector and has brought untold hardship to employees, their families, communities and the companies,” Amplats said.
In total, the three companies have lost R13.5 billion in combined revenue, making this the South Africa’s longest and most damaging strike.