Lonmin workers want 25% pay rise

LONMIN Platinum yesterday received what is possibly the highest wage demand tabled in the mining sector for this year's wage negotiations.

This after the National Union of Mineworkers demanded a whopping 25percent wage hike for its members.

The NUM, which has sealed wage settlements with the leading mining companies in this year's wage talks, believes that the wage levels at the platinum producer "need a huge improvement".

Eric Gcilitshana, NUM national health and safety secretary, who sits on the Lonmin wage talks, said their 25percent across the board demand was coupled with a once-off medical incapacity payout of R20000 for workers, who had been with Lonmin for over 2 years.

Gcilitshana said: "We also demand long service pay of R5000 for every 5 years of service and R10000 for every 10 years worked as well as a minimum wage of R4500 for surface employees and R5000 for underground workers".

At the moment underground workers at the mining company earn R3375 a month, while surface workers pocket R3208.

The union also wants the period of the wage negotiations at Lonmin to be aligned with other mining companies and take place from the July 1 instead of October.

By late Monday afternoon Lonmin had tabled a 5percent offer as its opening percentage.

Mahomed Seedat, Lonmin chief operations officer, said negotiations were at an early stage but he believed that through a series of negotiations, parties would reach a "mutually beneficial agreement".