* AMCU wants platinum firms to stop communicating with
* Labour court says AMCU application not urgent
JOHANNESBURG, June 2 A South African labour
court threw out an urgent application on Monday by the AMCU
union to stop platinum firms communicating directly with
striking miners, dealing a blow to the union's attempt to stop
the companies from sidestepping it.
Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum
and Lonmin took their wage offers directly to strikers
after talks with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU) to end the five-month strike failed.
AMCU objected to the move and filed an urgent application to
have it halted, but the union's lawyer, Jayson Kent, said the
court had throw it out, arguing it was not an urgent matter.
"We were concerned that urgency might be an issue and it's
turned out that it was the issue that has ultimately resulted in
our failure here today," he told reporters outside the court.
"There are other avenues that we could consider."
AMCU is demanding a basic monthly wage for its members of
12,500 rand ($1,200) within three to four years while the
companies have offered pay hikes of up to 10 percent that reach
that figure by 2017 if ancillary benefits are also included.
The labour court is currently mediating the dispute and new
mining minister Ngaoko Ramatlhodi has assembled a government
team to negotiate a solution to what is already South Africa's
longest and most costly labour dispute.
($1 = 10.5837 South African Rand)
(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Writing by Olivia
Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Ed Cropley)