South Africa platinum firms, union agree "in principle" offer: Implats

Lonmin workers on strike react as they listen to President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa's (not in picture) speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's platinum producers and union AMCU have agreed on a broad wage offer to end a protracted strike but details such as the timeframe and additional benefits are still outstanding, Impala Platinum said on Tuesday. "The big principle in the offer has apparently been agreed to. It's just other smaller issues like the timeframe and housing allowance that needs talking about," company spokesman Johan Theron said. The platinum producers had received the union's response to a wage offer from the companies on Monday and all parties were due to hold discussions this week, he added. The five-month strike has hit output at mines that normally account for 40 percent of global platinum supply and is threatening to drag Africa's most advanced economy into recession. Siphamandla Makhanya, an AMCU shop steward, said the union would call a mass meeting this week in the platinum belt to decide on the latest company offers. Last week, thousands of workers and AMCU shop stewards at separate meetings at Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin urged union leaders to sign a wage deal. The strike by 70,000 miners is the longest and costliest strike in South Africa's history.