The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) announced its intention to engage with employers in the sector about increasing the minimum wage for platinum miners.
Platinum miners deserve more
AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa was addressing media at a press briefing after the union had completed its feasibility study into the cost of living for platinum miners.
“We believe that R17 000 is the minimum amount that a worker needs as a basic salary,” he said.
“It is a small price for the hard work and daily risks to life and limb our members face every day of their lives.”
According to information from the union, it represents around 60 000 workers in the platinum sector, and the lowest earner among their members makes around R11 000 per month.
“Our branches engaged and consolidated their demands to a single AMCU mandate for platinum. Earlier this week… we conducted a series of mass meetings at all platinum mining houses in order to confirm this consolidated mandate. We are now ready to engage with the employer.”
AMCU has been fighting for an increase to the minimum wage since as far back as 2012, but the R17 000 is a marked increase from the R12 500 they sought before.
According to the union, the nearly 50% increase is due to the fact that the platinum sector has posted impressive profits in recent years, but this has not been passed on to the workers in any way.
“We were glad to learn that the platinum sector in South Africa is making massive profits. However, in South Africa, we have become used to high profit… the rich bosses get richer and poor workers get poorer.”