There been another deadlock in settling the five-month platinum miners’ strike in South Africa.
Owners of the world’s biggest producers of the metal crucial for the automotive industry are urging the workers to go back to the deal they struck last week but have yet to sign.
Miners keen to go back to work are already streaming back to the mines.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union says the deal it agreed to ending the 21-week strike was conditional on its members receiving a once-off cash payment and an increase in allowances.
These conditions are what’s delaying signing the agreement that was expected days ago.
Spokesman for Amplats, one of three mining houses paralysed by the strike, Mpumi Sithole says the latest AMCU conditions fall outside the settlement agreed last week.
Sithole calls the demands unaffordable.
National Council of Trade Unions President Joseph Maquekeni says the only condition outstanding last week was how long the agreed increase would be drawn out.
The miners want it in three years. The producers want it to be drawn out over five.
The union’s letter of response to the producers on Monday demands the reinstatement of more than 200 essential services employees dismissed during the course of the strike.
The mining houses say that there’s been a spike in workers, who’ve not been paid since January, returning to the mines.