Strikes at the platinum mines of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin in South Africa, initiated by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on January 23, remained in effect in the last week of February. AMCU had not given any ground in its demands for a doubling of minimum monthly wages, while the companies had slightly improved their offer to an increase of 9%. In a joint statement, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin said they would not further raise an already rejected wage offer and warned of impending job losses.
On February 14, Anglo American Platinum filed a suit against AMCU charging that the union had failed to maintain control of the strike. The company was seeking R591 million (about $54 million) for property damage by the striking miners, as well as lost production.
On February 21, Anglo American Platinum asked the Johannesburg Labour Court to hold AMCU in contempt, saying it ignored an order to stop using violence in the ongoing strike. A mine worker was attacked and set on fire on his way to an Anglo Platinum mine on February 20. Earlier in the month, an AMCU shop steward was shot dead in a clash between strikers and police.
On February 24, seven South African platinum mining companies established the website “Platinum Wage Negotiations 2014,” to provide an ongoing source of information about the negotiations. The website can be accessed at platinumwagenegotiations.co.za.