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Gold producers: Union demands are unaffordable

Jul 07 2015 19:30

Cape Town – The South African Gold producing companies have responded to mining unions by saying their wage demands are unaffordable.

“The demands made by the four unions are unaffordable, as high as an additional R16.5bn across the five companies when one of the union’s demands is extrapolated,” the companies said in a joint statement.

According to the companies the industry’s total wage bill was R23.5bn in 2014.

“Acceding to these demands would threaten the sustainability of our industry, and would jeopardise almost all current jobs,” the companies said.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and UASA (United Association of SA) have all indicated that the initial offer by the producers were not acceptable.

The producers proposed a five-year wage deal with annual wage increases between 7.8% and 13%, plus a share of profits.

What the unions say

According to UASA (representing 7% of gold employees) the gold producers tabled a “good opening offer”, but added that it still needs work.

READ: Gold wage offer 'needs work' - union

NUM (representing 52% of gold employees) has rejected the offer outright, asking for an increase to basic pay for underground workers to R10 500 per month from R5 700.

READ: NUM rejects gold wage offer

Amcu (representing 30% of gold employees) said gold producing companies need to improve their pay offers and have threatened to declare a deadlock if the union is not happy with the offer.

READ: Amcu: Gold producers ‘not moving’ pay offer

Speaking on behalf of the Chamber of Mines, Dr Elize Strydom, said: “Our offers are substantial. Even before the profit share and the social sustainability proposals, our offers at entry level far exceed inflation and settlement areas in the past 10 years. 

"And, importantly, employees will be able to influence their companies’ profitability through their efforts, and their share in this through the gain-share.

"The companies have appealed to the unions to actively engage in the process of negotiations, and to take these offers to employees for serious consideration.”

amcu  |  num  |  uasa  |  labour  |  mining


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