Village Main Reef secures three-year wage deal | Fin24
 
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Village Main Reef secures three-year wage deal

Oct 05 2018 12:29
Khulekani Magubane

The Minerals Council South Africa announced on Friday morning that Village Main Reef [JSE:VIL] had concluded its wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers, the United Associations of SA and Solidarity.

In the agreement, workers in categories 4 to 8 - that is employees at lower levels, from entry level to historical bargaining units - are offered a basic wage increase of R575 each year for the next three years.

According to the statement from the Minerals Council, miners, artisans and officials will receive a 4.25% increase for the first year of the agreement, and consumer price index-linked increases for the following two years.

For underground entry-level employees, it said, this was a 7% increase in the first year. 

"In addition to the basic wage, the parties agreed to an increase in the living-out allowance for Kopanang employees amounting to R100 in September 2018, and R50 in each of the two subsequent years, taking the total to R2 300. Those at Village’s Tau Lekoa mine already receive that amount," the statement said.

The Minerals Council said additional non-wage agreements included offering women employees four months' paid maternity leave, with the option of spreading the four months' paid maternity leave over a period of six months.

The medical contribution concession was also extended to 60% for the employer and 40% for employees, for the duration of the agreement, for category 4 to 8 employees who chose to join a company-recognised medical scheme.

Additionally, Village Main agreed to incremental increases in the minimum severance payment, bringing it to R36,000 over the three-year period.

A next step

Minerals Council chief negotiator Motsamai Motlhamme welcomed this as a further step towards a comprehensive set of agreements in the gold mining sector.

The statement said while the agreement was concluded, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) were still considering the latest offer.

The latest agreement follows wage agreements at other gold miners such as Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] and AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG]. Sibanye Stillwater [JSE:SGL] are still in discussions to reach an agreement with unions.

"Wage negotiations in respect of Sibanye-Stillwater with AMCU, the NUM, UASA and Solidarity are continuing under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Agreements involving AngloGold Ashanti and Harmony were reached previously," the statement said.

NUMA, Uasa and Solidarity represent 76% of employees within the bargaining unit of around 6 400 employees at Village Main Reef.

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