Amcu is fresh out of a five-month abortive strike in the gold sector, in which 14,000 of its members agreed to the initial three-year collective agreement signed by three other unions after the employers agreed to a “pillow payment” of R4,000 and a loan of R5,000 for each of their members. Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum, said: “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement and welcome the collaborative and constructive engagement with the unions throughout the process. We believe this agreement will allow the company to remain sustainable through PGM`s typical price cycles, while our employees will benefit from reasonable salaries and other increases. “Every company has a method with which it negotiates wages. The negotiations are based on how the company went during the fiscal year,” he said. We believe that R17,000 per month is a realistic and achievable goal for a living wage for the workers of our country. In the first rounds of mass assemblies with our members, we were mandated to study an increase of R1,500 per month for each year of a three-year collective agreement. We also agreed to include broader questions regarding terms of service as well as health and safety. As the majority union at Platinum, we are making good progress. Meanwhile, Implats said its operating subsidiaries, Rustenburg Operations and Marula Platinum, had agreed to a pay slip guaranteeing employees increases in all significant components of compensation, including base salaries, housing and lodging allowances, as well as medical assistance and pension fund contributions. Amplats noted in a statement Friday that its collective agreement included an increase in the base salary of R1,000 per month, or 5.5 percent, whichever is more important, for each year of the agreement. “The agreement is in line with the current mining inflation of around 7% and takes into account the reality of the inflationary pressures to which our employees are subjected. But Major did not rule out the possibility of lengthy negotiations, as Amcu had already set a precedent by signing the deal with Siyanda.

In the agreement with Siyanda, the staff of the superiors` tariff unit receive the first year an increase of R983 (5%), the second year of R1,063 (5.2%) and the third of R1,186 (5.5%), bringing the monthly salary to R14,309 during the three-year period. The agreement will increase the total labour cost of companies by 7.4% per year 1, 6.1% in 2 years and 6.3% in 3 years, or on average 6.6% over the three years. Peter Major, a mining analyst at Mergence Corporate Solutions, said Amcu could take advantage of its dominance in the platinum sector to put pressure on other mining companies that have yet to sign deals. The hardline union Amcu is calling on gold companies to double wages. In 2016, Amcu agreed to a 12.5% pay raise, after initially asking for a 47% raise. AMCU involved in a class action lawsuit with the Anglo-American AMCU described the conclusion of the “progressive collective agreements” as a “monumental victory” for the union and its members.