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Gold producers make new wage offer

Sep 05 2013 10:59 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The Chamber of Mines has tabled a revised wage offer to the National Union of Mineworkers, the NUM said on Thursday.

"The chamber presented us with a revised offer [on Wednesday] which will be the subject of discussion at today's [Thursday] strike committee meeting that is currently sitting," NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.

Gold producers' spokesperson Charmane Russell confirmed that such an offer was presented to the union but remained tight-lipped on what changes were made.

"At this stage I cannot say which aspects of the offer were revised... but discussions are at a delicate stage," Russell said.

Seshoka was also mum on details of the latest offer. He could not say if the figures were close to the unions' demands.

"I'm unable to say if it is close or far to what we demanded. The strike committee meeting is underway to evaluate it and decide if we take it to the members or reject it outright."

Seshoka said, however, the revision was indicative that talks between the union and employers were taking place in good faith.

On Wednesday, gold producers Evander Gold and Village Main Reef reached agreement with the NUM and the United Association of SA.

"The settlements reached by these companies are [an] 8% increase in basic wages for category four and five employees, including rock drill operators.

"A 7.5% increase in basic wages for category six to eight employees, [including] miners, artisans, and officials," the chamber's chief negotiator Elize Strydom said.

Seshoka said the settlements were mine-specific and did not change the dynamics of the strike in other mines. He said union members at those mines agreed to the terms and understood what it meant for them.

Seshoka had vehemently denied reports that the union was ready to settle on a 10% increase on wages, saying their demands still called for a wage increase of R2 300 for surface workers, and R3 000 for underground workers.

Surface workers currently earn R4 700 per month and underground workers earn R5 000.

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num  |  chamber of mines  |  gold  |  mining  |  labour unrest  |  wage offer
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