The deal includes annual increases of 1,000 rand a month for the lowest-paid underground workers for the first two years of the agreement, the producers said in a joint statement. Lonmin will apply the same raise in the third year, while at Impala and Amplats, the increase in that period will be 950 rand monthly. Those adjustments are on current pay of about 5,000 rand to 6,000 rand a month. South Africa’s inflation rate was 6.6 percent in May.
The deal will be applied from July last year at Amplats and Impala and from October at Lonmin. Workers won’t receive back- dated payments for the period they’ve been on strike.
Accommodation allowances will increase to 2,000 rand a month and stay there for the duration of the agreement, from 1,950 rand now at Lonmin and 1,850 rand at Impala. At Amplats, it will rise by 6 percent annually.
Lonmin has agreed to reinstate 236 workers who lost their jobs, he told members. Amplats employees will get food parcels and vitamins in their first month back at work, he said.
The AMCU’s original demand was that basic monthly wages of the lowest-paid workers be more than doubled to 12,500 rand. The union then relaxed the date by which this could be reached. Some workers will be earning this figure within three years, AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa said at yesterday’s rally.
Possible job cuts will remain “a challenge” for the union, he said.
Before the union leader addressed the crowd, AMCU members marched around the stadium’s track, singing as they went. A man in the group held up a sign reading “rest in peace NUM,” referring to the National Union of Mineworkers, which the AMCU displaced as the biggest representative of platinum employees. The miners also held up a coffin painted red and bearing a NUM sticker.
Mines Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said he was glad the parties had reached an agreement. “We obviously, together with the country, breath a sigh of relief,” Ramatlhodi said on Johannesburg-based radio station SAfm.
Chamber of Mines Chief Negotiator Elize Strydom said the industry group was pleased at the outcome, for producers and miners.
“The hard work starts now,” Strydom said on Johannesburg- based Talk Radio 702. “It’s going to take time for production to get to levels prior to the strike. I think we are still going to have to do a lot of work to convince the world and investors that platinum is a good commodity to invest in.”
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