Johannesburg, South Africa — 31 August 2012 – Next week Lonmin Plc “’ the world’s third-biggest platinum producer “’ will resume government-mediated talks with workers and unions to end a strike that has shut its Marikana complex in South Africa for three weeks.
“The issues that have been discussed are of a vast nature and have required several processes and various engagements, with different constituencies in the process,” the parties said today in an e-mailed statement following the second day of talks in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg.
Bloomberg News reports that worker representatives will report back to their colleagues and discussions will resume at 2 p.m. on Monday.
Most of the 28,000 miners at Marikana have stayed away since police shot dead 34 protesters at the operation on 16 August 16, after 10 people had died in fighting during the illegal strike by about 3,000 rock drillers that started on August. Union rivalry and pay disputes are stoking unrest at platinum mines in South Africa, which has the world’s largest known reserves.
The drillers are going directly to the company with demands, saying the dominant National Union of Mineworkers, South Africa’s largest labour group, did not take their request to raise wages to R12,500 (US$1,488) a month to management.
Rock-drill operators earn just shy of R10,000 a month, Lonmin said last week. In addition, they can earn performance bonuses which average R1,500 “but some are in the order of R6,000.”
Lonmin has lost 2,500oz of platinum daily by closing Marikana, which comprises 96% of the company’s output, hampering its ability to meet the conditions set by creditors on its borrowings.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.