Johannesburg, South Africa — 18 September 2012 – Strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa have cut their basic wage demands to below R11,000 a month to try to end a six-week strike that has halted platinum output at the world’s third-largest producer. The demand is still way above the offer on the table from Lonmin.
Reuters reports that the company, which is offering increases of between 9 and 21%, has said R12,500 would put thousands of jobs at risk and challenge the viability of the business. Basic pay for most underground workers is currently around R5,400.
A Lonmin official said talks between the various parties had extended to 03h00 (01h00 GMT) this morning. They were due to resume at 12h00 (1000 GMT).
“The demands came down to below R11,000,” Bishop Jo Seoka, who has been mediating in the talks between Lonmin and workers, told Reuters. “I’m very confident that something is going to happen today.”
The strike turned violent last month, culminating in police shooting 34 miners at a rocky outcrop at Marikana, 100 km northwest of Johannesburg. In all, 45 people have died in the Marikana unrest, which has spread beyond Lonmin to other platinum firms and other parts of the mining sector.
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s top producer of the precious metal, said workers started trickling back to its Rustenburg mines on Tuesday after operations were suspended last week when machete-wielding strikers marched on shafts.
Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.