President of the Miners' Association and the Construction Union Joseph Matunjwa speaks at the Impala Rugby fields January 16, 2019 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Tapelo Moreboudi)
The Association of Miners and the Construction Union (AMCU) has challenged, demanding a salary increase of about 50% from platinum producers in the upcoming negotiations. This, in fact, is far from meeting some of its requirements in the past, but negotiations are likely to be protracted.
The AMCU calling cry during the brutal strike of wild cats, which provoked a massacre in Marikan seven years ago, was a living wage of 12,500 rubles. Per month. His target posts, partly in line with inflation, have since shifted, and during wage negotiations with platinum producers this winter, the initial demand for its members is 17,000 rubles. In a month, union president Joseph Matunjwa said at a press conference on Friday.
Depending on the company, this means an increase of 45-50% compared with the current basic salary, which is approximately from 11,000 to 11,500 rubles. This figure alone does not reflect the complete miner's package. If cash benefits and other benefits are paid, it is about 16,000 rubles per month. This, without doubt, asserts AMCU, not so much to risk life and health in stuffy conditions underground. On Friday, Mathhundzhva said that the union’s demands for housing, medical care and other benefits would almost double the current package to 30,000 rubles.
"This is a drop in the ocean compared to what managers earn per hour, ”said Matunjwa, who for many years skillfully exploited the workers' indignation at the glaring inequality in South African income.
The basic wage requirements are in fact much less than what AMCU has been striving for in the past – it started with 100% or more. But the whole package, which he is looking for, is generally consistent with the previous requirements, since Mathanjwa emphasizes his well-deserved reputation for militancy. It also did not escape his attention that companies as a whole are in better shape than they were during the previous wage negotiation rounds.
For their part, company executives made it clear that they could probably absorb a wage increase above the rate of inflation, although not much higher than the rate of inflation. This is because they earn money, and inflation is low at 4.5%.
However, firstly, both sides are far away from each other, and Mathhundzhva must regain his power after a catastrophic five-month strike at the Sibanje-Stillwater gold mines, which brought nothing but to make the AMCU members poorer. And platinum is his fortress. Expect that the negotiations will be protracted and not devalue the prospects of the strike. DM
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