UNIONS representing platinum group metal (PGM) miners are set to ask for wage increases of up to 40%, according to a report by Daily Maverick.
Citing a document drawn up by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) detailing the wage demands, the Daily Maverick said that the entry-level minimum wage for all underground workers should be R20,000 a month.
This compares to the the basic pay component of R14,500/month agreed by Sibanye-Stillwater in terms of a three-year wage deal agreement in 2019. The proposed increase for skilled workers such as artisans is 15%, the document stated.
“The average 2021 PGM prices were as follows, platinum was $1,092,74/oz, palladium was at $2,397/oz, rhodium was at $18,074/oz and iridium was at $6,000/oz,” AMCU said in its document outlining its wage demands.
PGM producers reported handsome profits for 2021. In February, Anglo American Platinum announced a record full year dividend of R80bn.
Daily Maverick said it expected the current AMCU coalition with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which is behind a strike at the gold mines of Sibanye-Stillwater to be extended to PGM industry wage negotiations.
Sibanye-Stillwater and the striking unions are not far apart — the demand is a hike of R1,000 a month, while the offer is R850 a month each year over the course of three years — which raises questions over why it is still ongoing, said Daily Maverick. No one at this stage is going to come out of that dispute a winner.
AMCU live in LaLa Land! In a country with almost 50% unemployment, low skills base and an influx of other foreign nationals in the same position, how do they expect mines to support the unreal expectations they create? They are simply building their own business which takes it’s 1% from workers and then throws them into the fire! I’d like to see their views if they ever had the courage (they have the funds) to invest in a mining venture! Put your money where your mouth is guys and get with the real world!
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