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South Africa miners demand 100% wage increase

Press TV – January 23, 2014

Thousands of platinum miners in South Africa have embarked on a strike demanding their entry-level pay be doubled to nearly 1,200 dollars a month.

Workers at Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum, and Lonmin mines embarked on an indefinite strike on Thursday, crippling output at the world’s three biggest platinum producers.

Striking miners chanted slogans as they marched to Wonderkop Stadium near the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana.

The protest, organized by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, is the biggest industrial action in South Africa’s platinum sector since 2012, when police shot and killed 34 striking miners in Marikana.

South Africa’s mining companies have been rejecting calls for a wage increase, pointing to weaker profits and rising costs.

South Africa’s mining sector has been paralyzed by a series of wildcat strikes over miners’ low pay since August, 2012. The strikes have also damaged South Africa’s reputation as an investment destination.

The three top platinum companies operating in the African country say strikes cost the industry a total loss of output amounting to about USD 1.2 billion in 2012 and 2013.

South Africa possesses nearly 80 percent of the world’s known platinum reserves. The country’s mining sector directly employs around 500,000 people and accounts for nearly one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product.

January 23, 2014 - Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , ,

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