The CCMA has given striking Lonmin workers until the end of the day to return to work to facilitate negotiations and says it may withdraw from wage talks if the condition is not kept. The announcement came as Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant asked workers to resume their duties so that negotiations could start.
Should the CCMA withdraw, the process will be handed back to Lonmin bosses. Wage demands are spreading with miners at Implats now demanding a second wage increase this year and Goldfields miners demanding a monthly wage of R12 500.
Impala Chief Executive, Terence Goodlace, says current tensions are an issue for the entire mining industry. Goodlace issued the statement as expelled ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema called for a strike at all mines.
urrent labour problems plaguing the mining industry will have dire effects on the economy
Meanwhile, analysts have warned that current labour problems plaguing the mining industry will have dire effects on the economy. The industry accounts for more than 18% the country's GDP and more than half of foreign earnings.
The rand could weaken substantially if mining exports are reduced as a result of labour disputes. They say more inflationary pressure will be exerted on the economy as imported goods become more expensive, particularly crude oil.
Makwe Masilela, a trader at BP Beirnstein says: “The minute you have high oil prices coming into the country, basically, you are importing inflation and as you do that, our inflation expectations will rise. As we all know, most reserve banks - including our own central bank- base their interest decisions amongst other things on inflationary expectations. So, the minute you have rising interest rates expectations, either they will keep them where they are or they might increase them.”