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Unions, gold firms agree on 13% wage hike

Oct 02 2015 21:14
Thomas Hartleb, News24

Johannesburg - Entry-level workers at AngloGold Ashanti and Harmony will get wage increases of up to 13%, according to an agreement reached with unions on Friday.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (Uasa), signed the three-year agreement with the two companies, the Chamber of Mines said in a statement.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) rejected the companies' offers. It declared disputes with AngloGold [JSE:ANG], Harmony [JSE:HAR]and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGB]. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration has granted Amcu certificates of non-resolution.

Sibanye is set to continue talks with Amcu, and Evander with NUM.

NUM, Uasa, and Solidarity collectively represent about 62% of employees in the gold companies which sit under the Chamber of Mines.

In terms of the Labour Relations Act, AngloGold and Harmony will extend the agreement to all employees within the bargaining units, irrespective of their union affiliation.

The chamber's chief negotiator Elize Strydom said 50% of operations in the gold industry are currently marginal or not making a profit. More than 30 000 jobs have been lost in the last decade.

"The offers on the table are substantial and are the most our industry can afford.

"This is the only deal that will be agreed upon. We cannot and will not negotiate different deals with different parties."

Entry-level workers will get increases in their basic wage of between 10% and 13% in each of the three years of the agreement.

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