SA union seeks end to wage dispute with Impala

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JOHANNESBURG — A union at the world’s second-biggest platinum producer, Impala Platinum said yesterday it will stick to its 15% pay rise demand in mediation talks next week but wants a quick end to the dispute.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), representing
24 000 out of Implats’ more than 30 000 workers, said it would not accept a 7,2 % wage rise offer by the platinum producer, after talks for improved wages ended in a deadlock three weeks ago before the matter was referred to mediation.
“The (mediation) is the last option before we consider a strike, but that’s not where we want to go, we want to achieve an agreement. Impala must move up because our demand remains at 15% (pay rise),” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said.
“We would like to see a resolution quickly.”
Impala spokesman Bob Gilmour declined to comment.
Impala, the supplier of a quarter of the world’s platinum, said it lost 50 000 ounces during a pay strike at its mines in South Africa last year.
The workers, who had been holding out for a 14% raise, then accepted Implats’ 10% pay increase.
South Africa produces four-fifths of the world’s platinum — mostly used in making catalytic converters to cut pollutants from car exhausts, and in jewellery. — Reuters