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Gold wage offer 'needs work' - union

Jul 06 2015 12:52
Coal mining


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Sibanye Gold Limited [JSE:SGL]

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Johannesburg - South African union UASA said while gold producers tabled a “good opening offer” in pay negotiations last week, it still needs work.

Labour groups will meet on Monday with the Chamber of Mines, which represents AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL], after consulting with their members on the initial proposal, Franz Stehring, head of mining at UASA, said by phone Monday.

The producers offered wage increases of between 7.8% and 13%, plus a share of profits.

The proposed five-year deal is “too long,” said Stehring, adding that virtually unchanged housing allowances and increases not linked to inflation were also issues. The centralised negotiations with producers also include the National Union of Mineworkers, which represents most gold miners and is demanding an 80% increase in basic pay.

“The answer to the chamber from our side will be ‘go back and redo your figures,’” said Stehring, whose UASA comprises about 7% of the 95 000 employees involved compared with 52% for the NUM.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which represents 30% of employees in the industry, are firm about their demand of R12 500 rand a month, Manzini Zungu, a spokesperson for the union, said in a text message.

The companies have guaranteed employment if their profit margin at operating-unit level, after the allocation of all costs, doesn’t fall below a margin of 6%.

The offer by producers is unprecedented from previous wage negotiations by starting with “a guarantee in terms of job retention,” Dawie Mostert, a senior vice president at Sibanye, said at a presentation Thursday. “The essence of what we’re trying to do here is job retention on the back of a sustainable industry.”

amcu  |  num  |  uasa  |  labour  |  mining


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