24 Jun, 2014 - 13:06 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

JOHANNESBURG – THE long-awaited wage agreements between platinum producers Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Lonmin, and Impala Platinum (Implats) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have been signed.

This ends the five-month long strike, which brought the local platinum industry to its knees, reportedly causing producers to lose R24 billion in revenue and employees earnings of approximately R10.6 billion.

Platinum Mine

Platinum Mine

Employees are expected to return to work on June 25.

The separate three-year agreements are effective retrospectively from July 1 2013 for Amplats and Implats and from October 1 2013 for Lonmin, and will run until June 30 2016, and differ marginally.

According to a joint statement released by the producers, the agreement includes:

“An annual wage increase of R1,000 per month for employees whose basic wage is less than R12,500 a month for the first two years of the agreements. At Lonmin the same increase will apply in the third year, whereas in the other two companies the increase in the third year will be R950 a month.

“Employees currently earning R12,500 a month or more, or whose basic rate reaches that amount during the course of the agreement, will receive an 8% increase for the first year of the agreement and 7,5 percent thereafter in respect of Amplats and Implats and 8 percent increase for the first year and 7,5 percent for the next two years in respect of Lonmin

“ The living-out allowance will remain at its current level at Impala, at Lonmin the living out allowance will increase in the first year and remain the same for the next two years and at Amplats the living out allowance will increase by 6% in the first year, and remain constant thereafter.

“Fringe benefits and allowances normally based on basic pay will generally, during the course of these agreements, increase by amounts linked to the inflation rate.

“All employees will receive, within one week of their return to work, the back pay due to them from their 2013 increase date until 22 January 2014, the day prior to the start of the strike.”

The statement quotes the CEOs of each company as saying “We acknowledge the work that needs to be done to improve the lives of our employees and members of our communities. We will work towards these goals in committed partnership with their representatives and the South African government at all levels. It cannot happen overnight.

“It is our sincere hope that our companies, our industry, our employees and all other stakeholders will never again have to endure the pain and suffering of this unprecedented strike period. None of us, nor the country as a whole, can afford a repetition.”

CEO comments according to individual Sens announcements:

Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said: “The signing of today’s agreement brings to an end the extreme hardship suffered by all stakeholders, the country, our communities, suppliers and in particular our employees, over the last five months. We believe that signing this agreement with our majority union is the only way forward in re-building our business.”

Implats’ CEO Terence Goodlace was relieved Amcu members had accepted its final settlement offer. He acknowledged the assistance by various authorities and senior SA government officials over the last five months to reach a settlement.

Amplats CEO Chris Griffith stated: “I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement which has been the result of dialogue and collaboration from both sides. The entire process has been challenging for all parties involved, but we would not have reached a resolution without the dedication and support of government, in particular the Department of Mineral Resources, Department of Labour, the Labour Court, platinum producers and organised labour.

“It has been a long and difficult journey but we have reached a reasonable outcome for all parties. However, the protracted strike has underlined broader issues facing the industry, its workforce and mining communities. We are committed to working with stakeholders to find solutions to address these issues and to deliver sustainable benefit for all involved.” -(MINEWEB)

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