South African miners and platinum companies have signed a wage deal to end a strike that lasted for almost half a year. The protracted industrial action hugely damaged the nation's economy, analysts said.
The world's largest platinum producers said Tuesday they had signed a wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), putting an end to South Africa's longest mining strike.
The producers affected - Lonmin, Anglo-American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum - said in a joint statement there were no winners in that five-month strike. They indicated the protracted work stoppage would lead to inevitable restructuring, leaving open just how many jobs the streamlining process could eventually cost.
Miners were expected to return to work on Wednesday, but the companies warned that getting back to full production would take several weeks .
Basic wages upped
Under the deal struck between the union and the major platinum companies, no worker in the sector will earn less than 8,000 rand ($755 or 555 euros) per month as a basic salary.
South African President Jacob Zuma voiced relief at the conclusion of the strike, hoping the economy would quickly recover from the blow.
The strike action in Africa's most advanced country had plunged the economy into contraction in the first quarter of this year for the first time since the start of the global financial crisis some five years ago.
hg/ng (AFP, dpa)