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Union and chamber meet on proposal

Oct 11 2012 17:09

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Johannesburg - Trade unions gave feedback on Thursday to the Chamber of Mines on a pay structure proposal by employers, aimed at ending wildcat strikes in the gold sector.

"The unions have indicated that there have been mixed reactions by their members to the chamber's proposals," the chamber said in a media statement.

More time was needed to communicate proposals to workers.

"Communication with the employees on the chamber's proposals will continue throughout the weekend," it said.

Talks would resume on Monday next week.

"The companies are committed to continuing with dialogue in order to stabilise the sector and to resume production as soon as possible," said chamber spokesperson Elize Strydom.

This was in the best interests of all parties, as well as for South Africa's future growth and development.

The National Union of Mineworkers said the proposals had met with a mixed reaction and it would continue with consultations.

"Some are saying it's a good thing, others are saying no," said NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka.

"We are optimistic. For as long as parties are negotiating we have no reason not to be optimistic."

Solidarity and Uasa -- which are also involved in the talks -- were not immediately available for comment.

On behalf of AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] and Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR], the chamber had proposed doing away with category three, so that entry level in the gold mining industry became category four. As such, the entry-level salary would be increased.

A new category would be created for locomotive, loader, winch and water jet operators, which would improve salaries.

Other employees would also have their pay adjusted to preserve the integrity of the present job grading framework.

An allowance for rock drill operators was in addition proposed.

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