NUM, Gold Fields agree to 21% wage hike | Fin24
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NUM, Gold Fields agree to 21% wage hike

Apr 10 2015 15:53
Dane McDonald

Cape Town – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM),  on Friday signed an agreement with Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] securing significant wage increases for entry level workers.

NUM general secretary, Frans Baleni, told Fin24 that the union was very happy to achieve the package without any violence or damage of property.

“Our union has an 82% representation at Gold Fields and non-members will benefit,” he said, adding that the union hopes more workers will join its ranks.

The wage increase for entry level workers will amount to 21% over three years, according to NUM. For year one there will be an increase to R7 000, in year two there will be an increase to R8 000, and in year three workers will take home R9 000.

Gold Fields said in a SENS announcement the average annual wage increases across the board amount to 10% over the three-year period. The first increase will take effect on 1 April 2015.

Other benefits include housing allowance, full calendar operation allowance, and holiday leave. This will leave most workers with a total package of around R16 200 by the end of year three.

Collective bargaining

Gold Fields spokesperson Avishkar Nagaser told Fin24 that the company has had to give due consideration to the scarcity of mechanised mining skills in SA and has taken a holistic approach in its negotiations with labour.

According to Baleni NUM will submit its wage demands for the coal and gold sectors by the end of April, and the union is positive that it will win similar concessions.

In light of the wage agreement on Friday Gold Fields advised that it will not participate in centralised collective bargaining for the upcoming wage negotiations.

Spokesperson on behalf of the Gold Producers, Charmane Russell, told Fin24 that Gold Fields has engaged separately with NUM because their operations are very different from other South African producers.

“It is the only mine that is fully mechanised whereas the other producers are more labour intensive,” she said.

“The producers note that while Gold Fields shares many of the broader socio-economic circumstances of the South African sector, its only SA operation, South Deep, has a significantly different operating model and labour profile to labour-intensive gold mining undertaken by the other companies.

“South Deep is the only fully mechanised gold mining operation in South Africa and employs a small highly skilled workforce, with unique skills not necessarily found in the gold sector,” Russell said.

The other gold producing companies include AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Evander Gold Mines, Harmony [JSE:HAR], Sibanye Gold [JSE:SBL] and Village Main Reef [JSE:VIL].

The five companies represented in centralised collective bargaining (including Gold Fields) account for the majority of employees in the gold sector, with centralised collective bargaining applicable to around 94 000 employees.

Gold Fields shares raced more than 6% in afternoon trading to R51.78, outperforming the broader Resources index, which was up 0.45% at 39 819 points.

gold fields  |  num  |  nick holland  |  frans baleni  |  mining  |  labour


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