All data is delayed
See More

Mine owners agree to discuss wage hikes

Oct 03 2012 20:00

Johannesburg - Facing a wave of industrial disputes, South Africa's Chamber of Mines on Wednesday said it was willing to review current wage agreements for gold and coal miners.

Referring to sometimes violent demands for higher salaries, Chamber negotiator Elize Strydom told AFP "we will meet [next] Tuesday and we will hopefully be coming with some proposals to address those issues."

The comments came after a day of talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which has demanded centralised wage deals for gold and coal miners, agreed last year, be renegotiated or scrapped a year before they are due to expire.

The union on Wednesday claimed victory, telling members that the Chamber of Mines would come to next Tuesday's meeting with "an actual wage offer... tabled in rand and cents."

The deal will include a pay increase for entry level workers, and an "adjustment" for rock drill and other operators, NUM said.

Strydom confirmed the contracts of those workers would be examined and added "we are very aware of the urgency of the matter. We have 50,000 (gold) workers on unprotected strike."

"This is not a good situation. We try to resolve all these issues and address them as a matter of urgency"

For almost 100 years labour relations at South Africa's economically vital mines have been managed through some form of centralised wage agreements.

But a recent round of labour disputes have called the highly structured system into question.

It remains to be seen if the prospect of a new wage deal will dampen tensions.

On Wednesday police tried to contain tensions at the Gold Fields mine in
Carletonville west of Johannesburg where 15,000 miners refused to return to work. Around 5,400 workers at the nearby Harmony Gold mine also downed tools.

* Follow Fin24 on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


With infrastructure spending having been identified as one of the key focus areas of the National Development Plan, tradesmen will continue to play a critical role in growing the South African economy through their skills.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

A 30% a month return on investment is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote