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Fiery unionist strikes cooler tone as platinum talks loom

‘It’s a negotiation’, Amcu President Joseph Mathunjwa, says
Amcu President, Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Moneyweb

For the leader of a group that led the longest-ever platinum-mining strike and which self-identifies as “militant,” South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union President Joseph Mathunjwa is sounding rather diplomatic.

Laying out the union’s demands in the upcoming platinum pay talks, Mathunjwa stopped short of his usual fiery rhetoric. “It’s a negotiation,’’ he said, after being asked what would happen if producers refuse to meet Amcu’s minimum wage requirement.

Read: Amcu seeks R17 000 monthly basic wage in pay talks

One possible reason for the change in tone: Amcu was this year forced to call off a five-month pay strike at Sibanye Gold with little to show for it. Still, Mathunjwa’s not ruling out a fight with the platinum miners either.

“Because there’s inequality, the only recourse that we have is a right to strike,’’ he said.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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If the miners strike, do Mr.Mathunjwa also not get paid? Or can he still participate in life’s abundant luxuries?

He might be in for a surprise. Should they nationalize the reserve bank he might be aiming a bit low.

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