By Ed Stoddard
JOHANNESBURG Jan 13 South Africa's Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said its workers
had voted in favour of a strike over wages at Impala Platinum
(Implats), the world's second-largest producer of the
"They said to go on strike," AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama said
on Monday. He did not provide any other details or say when the
strike was due to start.
The company said it was still working to avoid a stoppage
and hoped for more talks.
"We remain committed to finding a sustainable resolution and
remain hopeful that strike action can still be averted,"
Implats' spokesman Johan Theron said.
A state mediator has given AMCU approval to launch strikes
at Implats as well as industry leader Anglo American Platinum
and the third-largest producer, Lonmin Plc.
A simultaneous strike at all three companies would hit at
least half of global platinum production and could take out as
much as two-thirds if Amplats' joint venture operations are also
At Amplats and Lonmin, the union is seeking a minimum
monthly wage of 12,500 rand ($1,200) for entry-level workers at
Amplats and Lonmin - more than double current levels. AMCU says
this amount would be a "living wage".
For Implats, the union late last year scaled back that
demand to just over 8,500 rand.
AMCU will canvas its members at Lonmin and Amplats, a unit
of global mining group Anglo American, later this week.
The union will hold a media briefing in Johannesburg on
Wednesday about its current round of wage negotiations.
AMCU has emerged as the dominant union on South Africa's
platinum belt over the past two years after wresting tens of
thousands of members from the once unchallenged National Union
of Mineworkers (NUM) in a violent turf war in which dozens of
people were killed.
On another labour front in the platinum belt, NUM said on
Monday it had met with mid-tier platinum producer Northam
Platinum for further talks to end a wage strike there
that started in early November.
NUM has scaled back its initial demands, some of which
exceeded 40 percent, and said the company was still offering
increases of 8 percent and 9 percent, still well above inflation
of 5.3 percent.
"We will convene a mass meeting of our members on Wednesday,
and they will give us a mandate on whether to end the strike or
not," NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said.