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NUM rejects gold wage offer

Jul 06 2015 15:24

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Johannesburg -  The National Union of Mineworkers has rejected the first pay offer made by gold companies including AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest producer.

“We want the money,” Livhuwani Mammburu, a spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers, or NUM, said in a text message. The organisation is still demanding an increase in basic pay for underground workers to R10 500 a month from about R5 700, R9 500 for surface employees, and a 15% increase for artisans, miners and officials, he said.

Unions met Monday with the Chamber of Mines, which represents AngloGold [JSE:ANG], Harmony Gold Mining [JSE:HAR] and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL], after consulting with their members over the initial offer made last week.

The producers proposed a five-year wage deal with annual wage increases of as much as 13%, plus a share of profits. South Africa’s inflation rate was 4.6% in May.

Gold producers want to stem rising costs that have left half of the industry barely breaking even or unprofitable, according to the Chamber of Mines, a lobby group for producers.

Instead, they’re attempting to offer improved job security and living conditions as part of the talks to avoid a repeat of last year’s five-month strike by platinum workers.

“It is a mandate from our members” that the offer is rejected, Mammburu said. Employees also didn’t favor a five-year term. “The NUM might consider a three-year agreement,” he said.

While the opening offer was “good,” it still needs work, UASA, the union that represents higher-skilled employers and managers, said earlier on Monday.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which represents about 30% of employees in gold, also rejected the offer, Manzini Zungu, a spokesperson for the organization, said in a text message.

amcu  |  num  |  uasa  |  labour  |  wages  |  mining


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