His comments cause an uproar in the midst of a violent 16-week
strike in the platinum companies Amplats, Impala Platinum (Implats)
<IMPJ.J> and Lonmin <LMI.L> by the Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (AMCU).
"My choice of words was inappropriate and a poor way to describe the
extremely challenging situation we find ourselves in," Chris
Griffiths, Amplats chief executive said in a statement on Friday.
He had told the Business Day that the focus should be on affordable
wages that would dent the country's high unemployment rate, "rather
than comparing salaries of educated, skilled executives with workers
with few or no skills and limited education."
Griffiths earned 17.6 million rand ($1.7 million) in 2013 according
to the company's latest annual report.
The companies have said they cannot afford AMCU's demand for a
"living wage" of 12,500 rand while the union's president have
questioned salaries of company executives.
[to top of second column]
Implats said on Friday its chief executive, who earns about 7.5
million would not be taking a pay hike in light of the strike which
would cripple the company's production for the rest of its financial
($1 = 10.3510 South African Rand)
(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala, editing by William Hardy)
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