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Mines must give big increases - NUM

Aug 30 2013 18:05
Sapa, Fin24

The union rejected a 6% increase in basic wages for category six to eight employees. (Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers has dismissed as "a joke" the offer made by mining companies, as it prepares for strike action.

It served major gold miners with a notice of a strike over pay demands, saying that it wants more than a R300 increase.

The gold mining companies are AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Gold Fields [JSE:GFI], Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR], Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

Harmony confirmed that it received a notice of commencement for strike action.The mines said the no work, no pay policy will apply.

“We remain open to discussions with all unions, and urge them to engage in good faith to reach an outcome that is acceptable to all,” said Harmony chief executive officer Graham Briggs.

The NUM represents approximately 70% of Harmony’s workforce.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said: "We deserve better than [a] R300 increase... we work hard underground in unbearable temperatures."

"They [employers] must give us big increases, it is the fruits of our labour, otherwise they must go dance."

Talks between gold producers and the NUM deadlocked when the union rejected a 6% increase in basic wages for category six to eight employees, made by the Chamber of Mines.

The NUM dismissed the tabled offer as "a joke".

In addition, the chamber said accommodation allowances would be increased in accordance with the consumer price index.

They were issued with a notice of strike by the NUM through the Chamber of Mines.

"The strike is expected to begin with effect from the night shift on Tuesday, September 3 2013," chamber spokesperson Charmane Russell said in a statement.

Gold producers were handed a 48-hour notice by the NUM, but remained open to wage discussions to reach an acceptable agreement.

 - Sapa, Fin24

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