* Footwear strike to add pressure on economy
* Five-month platinum mining union strike continues
(Recasts with platinum wage talks)
By Zandi Shabalala
JOHANNESBURG, June 6 A South African footwear
manufacturing union said on Friday it would strike for higher
pay from Monday, as the government continued to negotiate for an
end to a five-month stoppage in the platinum sector that has
battered the economy.
Thousands of members of the Southern African Clothing and
Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) are set to down tools after talks
stalled with footwear manufacturers over wage increases.
Separately, government-brokered talks between the AMCU union
and platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala
Platinum, and Lonmin to end the
industrial action in the sector are also set to resume on
"Deliberations are at a sensitive stage, and we all remain
committed to the process," mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi
said in a statement.
Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU) downed tools in January at Amplats, Implats and
Lonmin in a strike that has heavily affected economic output in
Africa's most advanced economy.
AMCU president rejected a government-brokered wage offer on
Thursday, dashing hopes of an immediate end to a strike that has
cut global platinum output by 40 percent.
Chief executive of Anglo American, Amplats' parent
company, said on Thursday the dispute was the toughest ever in
South Africa's platinum sector.
"After five months of strike I am not sure you can call it
anything else (but a fight)," Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said at an
industry gathering in London.
"To be in a strike after five months, something is missing
in the relationship, from a leadership perspective unpacking
what we are missing is as important as standing our ground when
South Africa is nearing the beginning of its mid-year
"strike season", in which unions negotiate with employers and
sometimes strike when talks go sour.
South Africa's biggest union has said a wage strike in
metals and engineering is "inevitable" from July. A labour court
said on Friday a temporary injunction preventing a strike in the
gold mining sector by AMCU remained in place.
Textiles sector union SACTWU wants a 10 percent rise in
wages but employers are offering 7.75 percent. The union is
joining a strike by a larger labour group in the footwear
industry which began on Monday.
Around 164 companies will be affected by the strikes. Some
supply international footwear giants like Puma and
Adidas, SACTWU bargaining officer Vilna Membenkosi
The union also declared a wage dispute in the wool and
mohair textiles sector, saying employers were offering a 6.5
percent raise against worker demands of 9.5 percent. The dispute
had been referred to the industry's bargaining council.
Another union, Solidarity, also declared a dispute in the
petroleum sector. "Protracted negotiations are in nobody's
interest," Marius Croucamp, Solidarity's Head of the Chemical
Industry, said in a statement.
Employers and unions in the sugar industry, however, reached
a deal on Friday to end a strike in the sector, a government
negotiator said. No further details were provided.
(Additional reporting by Silvia Antonioli in London; Writing by
Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Andrew Roche)