South Africa: negotiations start in mine strike
RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — A South African union representing striking platinum miners held wage talks with employers on Friday amid reports of some confrontations around the mines.
Union representatives on Friday met senior managers of mining companies to discuss worker demands for higher wages in one of South Africa’s major industries. South Africa is the world’s top producer of the platinum, which is used in medical, electronic and other industries.
Tens of thousands of platinum miners went on strike on Thursday. Anglo American Platinum, a mining company, reported worker attendance of about 10 percent at operations affected by the strike, and said it was losing revenues of about $9 million a day at current market prices.
In a statement, the company condemned what it said was an increase in “violence and intimidation” around Rustenburg, home to major platinum mines, and surrounding areas.
Eyewitness News, a media outlet, reported confrontations between striking miners and mine security officials in one area, as well as incidents of protesters blocking roads and throwing stones at motorists.
In 2012, South African police shot and killed several dozen miners during labor unrest. An inquiry is underway.