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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

South Africa platinum strike talks to resume

AFP , Monday 10 Feb 2014
South Africa
Mine workers gather at Wonderkop stadium outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg January 29, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Talks to end a crippling strike by South African platinum miners will resume on Thursday, government mediators said, raising faint hopes for an end to the stoppage, now in its third week.

"We remain confident that a mediated solution will be found," said Nerine Kahn, director of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

The commission will hold talks with three firms hit by the strike -- Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin -- on Thursday and separate talks with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on Friday.

The two parties are not yet scheduled to meet face to face.

On February 6, platinum producers said that talks had broken down after the union refused to drop a demand for a minimum $1,125 monthly wage.

The firms say the "not feasible, and would effectively mean a doubling of the industry's wage bill."

Workers are outraged at rampant inequality in Africa's largest economy, and the high salaries of company bosses in proportion to other workers.

Around 80,000 workers have downed tools during the protest, which began on January 23.

"About 80 percent of our people are on strike," said Impala Platinum spokesman Johan Theron. "Out of the others, we have sent most of the people on leave.

The firm has lost around 40,600 ounces of production.

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