Developments in talks to end strike at SA platinum sector

GMT 19:21 2014 Tuesday ,03 June

Arab Today, arab today Developments in talks to end strike at SA platinum sector

Platinum strike 'eroding confidence in SA
Johannesburg - XINHUA

Positive developments emerged on Tuesday from talks aimed at ending a crippling strike at the platinum sector.
Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi was upbeat about ending the strike, saying he was encouraged by progress in talks with representatives from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
A new wage proposal has been tabled at the talks under the intervention of an inter-governmental team led by Ramatlhodi.
Details of the proposal were not disclosed. But AMCU reportedly was likely to accept the deal which will bring the strike to end.
Ramatlhodi's spokesperson Mahlodi Muofhe said the minister believes that the talks will end these talks in good faith.
"The outcome, we all hope, will be positive for all in sundry, because we really want to get back to work," Muofhe said.
"We want a productive country so that our latest development plan can be achieved," he said.
AMCU requested further engagement before taking the new package to their members for approval.
Talks will continue on Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, AMCU indicated that the protracted strike would end soon.
The union said it was hopeful that the intervention from the government will end the strike which began on January 23, the longest industrial action in South Africa's mining history.
But the union did not say whether it accepted the new proposal.
It's up to Ramatlhodi to pave the way forward, AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa said.
In previous talks, AMCU rejected a wage offer that would bring the striking workers' cash remuneration to 12,500 rand (about 1, 200 U.S. dollars) by July 2017.
The union demands a basic salary of 12,500 rand a month, to be instituted right now.
Mathunjwa praised Ramatlhodi for being the first to come forward with real solutions.
"He's the only minister who is hands on with this situation, so we'll give him a chance and support him, as AMCU we are open minded."
The strike has been blamed for contributing to a 0.6 percent decline in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of this year, the first quarterly decline since the recession in 2009.


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