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UPDATE 2-S.Africa's AMCU union cuts Implats wage demands

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2013 | 11:53 AM ET

* AMCU gets go-ahead for Amplats strike

* Union has not called strike yet

* AMCU lining up strikes at top 3 producers

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 13 (Reuters) - South Africa's AMCU union has lowered its wage demands at Impala Platinum, bringing it closer to resolving weeks of deadlock that had been threatening a strike at the world's No.2 platinum producer.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (AMCU) softening of its stance holds hope that strike threats at the three largest platinum producers in South Africa, the world's top producing country, will be scrapped.

"It is a clear indication that they are starting to accept some of the financial arguments that we are advancing and clearly signalling to us that they could consider something below what they have initially demanded," Implats spokesman Johan Theron said.

AMCU, now the dominant union in the platinum sector with members representing around 70 percent of the miners, has also lined up possible strikes at Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin, which together with Implats could hit at least half of global output.

Theron said while Implats had increased its offer by 0.5 percent for the lowest-paid underground worker, AMCU had also indicated it would cut its demand for a monthly wage of at least 12,500 rand ($1,200) to 8,668 rand.

However, AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama remained ambiguous.

"We have not dropped our demands but we have made a counter proposal to them to try to come with a settlement," Gama said.

Separately, AMCU was granted permission from the government mediator to strike at Amplats, although Gama said the union was not immediately calling the strike.

"We are still going to consult with our members," he said after a government mediator gave the union a "certificate of non-resolution" that allows it to call a legal strike.

Security personnel at Amplats' Mogalakwena mine dispersed protesting community members who were destroying mine property earlier on Wednesday, the company said.

The demonstrators were demanding the company, a unit of Anglo American, give them permanent employment.