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Union seeks solution to wage dispute

Anglo Platinum
maintenance crew
working through the
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 June 2009 – South Africa’s biggest mining trade union – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – has revealed that it would be willing to lower its demand for a15% wage increase for its members at Anglo Platinum as a trade-off for the company coming close to meeting its other demands.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said in an interview with Reuters that Angloplat had offered to raise the minimum wage of surface workers to R4 000, and that of underground workers to R4 400 – just short of the union’s demand for R4 200 and R4 500 respectively.

“Given the good spirit in which they are negotiating, we are prepared to do some trade-offs. There is no reason why we should remain steadfast when the company is prepared to make such a significant move,” Seshoka added.

But – the Reuters repoprt added – the union would still insist on Angloplat – the world’s biggest platinum producer – moving beyond the 6.5% hike in wages that the company has offered to its members in general wage negotiations thus far.

“That is still below inflation … they definitely need to move beyond that,” said Seshoka.

South Africa’s last measured inflation stood at 8.0% in May.