RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, — The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president, Joseph Mathunjwa, says the union has secured a wage increase of 1,000 Rand (about 72 US dollars) a month for workers at all major platinum producing mines in the country.

Addressing thousands of AMCU members who gathered for an update on wage negotiations, at Phokeng Stadium, near Rustenburg, in North West Province on Sunday, he said the deal reached with mining companies also stipulates increases in living out allowances, as well as retirement and provident funds, among others.

Workers have unanimously welcomed the three-year deal, a major victory for the union.

Mathunjwa says: “The lowest paid employee, a general worker in these three mines, is earning above 8,500 Rand; therefore this 1,000-Rand increment for three years will definitely change their lives.”

While this is a far cry from the demand of a basic salary of 12,500 Rand, the union believes it is a step in the right direction. “At the gold sector where the NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) is the majority, there are still mine worker who go underground earning 5,600 Rand as a basic salary where they are the majority, so there is a huge improvement and it is work in progress.”

The lowest-earning mineworkers are set to benefit the most from the deal.

The South African mining industry has been downsizing and retrenching and tougher economic times are anticipated for the future.

Source: Nam News Network