Are wage talks to end a platinum sector strike under threat of collapsing completely?
A public dispute between the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, and the Chamber of Mines erupted Monday. Labour lawyer and analyst Patrick Deale says it’s imperative that any misunderstanding must be resolved quickly in order to ensure the speedy resolution of the platinum strike.
Interview source: https://youtu.be/7Ui4ksyoFkI
Lead negotiator at the Chamber of Mines, Elize Strydom, (to the left) was reported by a Sunday newspaper as saying that some of the CCMA mediators involved in the platinum wage talks lacked the necessary economic understanding to qualify to do so.
Yesterday, the CCMA retorted in a statement telling Ms. Strydom to retract her statement or bear unspecified consequences.
With the platinum strike now in its seventh week, there’s a concern that if key parties are at loggerheads there can be no progress in resolving the current strike.
It’s unfortunate that this has happened. It’s not for us judge what happened or what didn’t happen, if who’s to blame or who’s not to blame. The point is that it’ll be in their best interest to try and resolve this thing because these disputes in the platinum sector needs to be resolved very quickly.
According to the Chamber of Mines platinum strike cost checker, mine workers have lost more than R3.4 billion in wages while the industry’s lost R7.7 billion in revenue.
The longer a strike the more damaging it becomes for everyone concerned: the employers, the employees, the unions, us as a society etc., for the image and reputation of the industry, and for the country.
The current spat between the CCMA and the Chamber of Mines runs the risk of not finding a mutually beneficial solution. Deale says ultimately the real losers will be the workers as some of them may lose jobs down the line as a direct result of losses incurred by the employers during the strike.
End of interview transcript.