NUM stands firm on Implats wage demands

[] — A union at the world’s second-biggest platinum producer, Impala Platinum said on Tuesday it will stick to its 15% pay rise demand in mediation talks next week but wants a quick end to the dispute.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), representing 24 000 out of Implats’ more than 30 000 workers, said it would not accept a 7.2% wage rise offer by the platinum producer, after talks for improved wages ended in a deadlock three weeks ago before the matter was referred to mediation.

“The (mediation) is the last option before we consider a strike, but that’s not where we want to go, we want to achieve an agreement. Impala must move up because our demand remains at 15% (pay rise),” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.

“We would like to see a resolution quickly.”

Impala spokesperson Bob Gilmour declined to comment.

Impala, the supplier of a quarter of the world’s platinum, said it lost 50 000 oz during a pay strike at its mines in South Africa last year.

The workers, who had been holding out for a 14% raise, then accepted Implats’ 10% pay increase.

South Africa produces four-fifths of the world’s platinum – mostly used in making catalytic converters to cut pollutants from car exhausts, and in jewellery.