South Africa: negotiations start in mine strike

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Photo - Union leader Joseph Mathunjwa, center, sings and dances with mine workers outside the Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana near Rustenburg, South Africa, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Allied Metal and Construction Workers Union (AMCU) at Lonmin in Marikana, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala mines started a strike on Thursday pushing for an entry-level monthly salary of 12,500 rand (1147 US Dollars). (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Union leader Joseph Mathunjwa, center, sings and dances with mine workers outside the Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana near Rustenburg, South Africa, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Allied Metal and Construction Workers Union (AMCU) at Lonmin in Marikana, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala mines started a strike on Thursday pushing for an entry-level monthly salary of 12,500 rand (1147 US Dollars). (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — A South African union representing striking platinum miners held wage talks with employers on Friday amid reports of some confrontations around the mines.

Union representatives on Friday met senior managers of mining companies to discuss worker demands for higher wages in one of South Africa's major industries. South Africa is the world's top producer of the platinum, which is used in medical, electronic and other industries.

Tens of thousands of platinum miners went on strike on Thursday. Anglo American Platinum, a mining company, reported worker attendance of about 10 percent at operations affected by the strike, and said it was losing revenues of about $9 million a day at current market prices.

In a statement, the company condemned what it said was an increase in "violence and intimidation" around Rustenburg, home to major platinum mines, and surrounding areas.

Eyewitness News, a media outlet, reported confrontations between striking miners and mine security officials in one area, as well as incidents of protesters blocking roads and throwing stones at motorists.

In 2012, South African police shot and killed several dozen miners during labor unrest. An inquiry is underway.

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