World’s top platinum miners brace for ‘substantial’ wage demands

June 13, 2019

Johannesburg (June 13)  South African platinum producers are preparing for significant wage demands as workers eye windfall earnings from a rally in metal prices.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is meeting its members across the country’s so-called Platinum Belt this week, before presenting demands to seven producers, including Anglo American Platinum, Sibanye Gold, and Impala Platinum. The largest and most militant labor organisation in the industry is aware that higher palladium and rhodium prices, plus a weaker rand, have boosted miners’ profits.

Read: Platinum market is turning a corner as supplies start to tighten

Amcu will make “substantial” demands in the coming weeks, said Dick Forslund, who has previously advised the union and made a presentation at an Amcu conference on June 4. Those demands will go beyond Amcu’s core target for the past eight years of raising basic monthly pay to R12 500, said Forslund, adding that the lowest-paid workers currently receive R10 800.

“They know platinum companies are doing well,” said Forslund, an economist at Alternative Information and Development Centre. “It would be very hard for mining companies to plead poverty.”


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