Mine owners agree to discuss wage hikes

2012-10-03 20:00

Johannesburg - Facing a wave of industrial disputes, South Africa's Chamber of Mines on Wednesday said it was willing to review current wage agreements for gold and coal miners.

Referring to sometimes violent demands for higher salaries, Chamber negotiator Elize Strydom told AFP "we will meet [next] Tuesday and we will hopefully be coming with some proposals to address those issues."

The comments came after a day of talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which has demanded centralised wage deals for gold and coal miners, agreed last year, be renegotiated or scrapped a year before they are due to expire.

The union on Wednesday claimed victory, telling members that the Chamber of Mines would come to next Tuesday's meeting with "an actual wage offer... tabled in rand and cents."

The deal will include a pay increase for entry level workers, and an "adjustment" for rock drill and other operators, NUM said.

Strydom confirmed the contracts of those workers would be examined and added "we are very aware of the urgency of the matter. We have 50,000 (gold) workers on unprotected strike."

"This is not a good situation. We try to resolve all these issues and address them as a matter of urgency"

For almost 100 years labour relations at South Africa's economically vital mines have been managed through some form of centralised wage agreements.

But a recent round of labour disputes have called the highly structured system into question.

It remains to be seen if the prospect of a new wage deal will dampen tensions.

On Wednesday police tried to contain tensions at the Gold Fields mine in
Carletonville west of Johannesburg where 15,000 miners refused to return to work. Around 5,400 workers at the nearby Harmony Gold mine also downed tools.

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  • JamesMWood - 2012-10-03 19:17

    Cowards! You have effectively told them that if they get violent they will be paid more. Thatd just great, expect more violence

      Onke Mdingi - 2012-10-03 19:38

      YAWN!! It's almost three (since August 16) months watching and reading about this circus. Aren't there any positive news NEWS24?

      christo.crous - 2012-10-03 20:07

      fight fire with fire..shoot the frigging aids carrying bastids..

      christo.crous - 2012-10-03 20:07

      fight fire with fire..shoot the frigging aids carrying bastids..

  • shaylin.jansen.35 - 2012-10-03 19:28

    mine worker are crazy

  • max.reynecke - 2012-10-03 19:34

    Just wait and see what is going to happen with the Government salary negotiations next year....if you think this is chaos you haven't seen nothing yet.

  • mmangaliso - 2012-10-03 19:34

    Why does gov need\r\nR73mil for #marikana\r\ninquiry? Does it cost R1mil\r\nper question? I'll do it for\r\nR2mil in a week

  • mthokozisi.mbele - 2012-10-03 19:35

    Its about time....

  • mitch.timour - 2012-10-03 19:37

    Blame Lonmin for setting the precedent. They should not have agreed to the illegal demands in the first place. The knock on effect of their short sighted decision taken in a boardroom in London is going to have a huge negative impact on all sectors back in SA. Rather mothball the operations as it is not as if the underlying asset will deteriorate! Time for Corporate SA to take a stand.

  • malcolm.baillie.50 - 2012-10-03 19:42

    Hold your horses, willing to review, doesn't mean capitulation. It's not 1987, its 2012. About time for all bonuses to be tied to production and profit. NUM and COSATU are not in charge when the workers are shareholders with a stake in the success of the mine.

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-10-03 19:44

    What goes around comes around...Those miners work damn hard and have been abused for eons. Time has come. AMANDLA

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-03 19:53

    All workers always claim they work hard (of course just plain BS, as we all know) and in adverial/life threatening and other made-up intolerant conditions. What's new? What a lot of BS!

      dawood.timol - 2012-10-03 20:11

      u try working 50 hours a week 3km under ground for a measly R4500-00, and then you really would be a cracker. The shareholders of mines and petro-chemical companies like SASOL, whom we as taxpayers funded for years sit in London etc and earn millions annualy and these hard working miners dont even get a livable wage. NATIONALISE NOW , but let every major political party have representatives to run every facet of the mining process, and balance sheets must be openly displayed to the taxpayers and other citizens of this country.Do not let the govt of the day have total control of our resources.

  • majwarha.balakisi - 2012-10-03 20:09

    This mine owners have been en slaving our people for years now. Mine worker must not give up, you a almost there now.

      savage10000 - 2012-10-03 20:49

      Dude, so everyone gets an increase and the prices all go up, negating the wage increases. A bit like a dog chasing its tail don't you think?

      malcolm.baillie.50 - 2012-10-03 21:45

      majwarha. this might upset you, however it seems you require some education. The mine is owned by whoever decides to buy some of the shares that are freely traded on stock exchanges. It might surprise you that the PIC, you know the guys that look after government pensions are also shareholders. ie. mine owners. You also get c&nts like me who trade those shares all the time. by using put warrants the strikers paid my rent for the next 6 months, and when all the muppets involved in this enslavement of your people agree to go back to work I'll buy some call warrants and pay the next 6 months rent. Hau you are probably saying. Hau, maybe you should take your enslavement blinkers off and get an education in how the world works. You too can enjoy the fruits of strikes and again when the workers going back to work. You will probably think a bit differently when you buy some shares and become one of the mine owners. Buy some Harmony shares when they hit R60.00 and then sell them when they go for R95.00. If they go down to R30.00 blame your enslaved workers as the mine owner you are as shareholder. No risk. No reward. Welcome to being the mine owner.

  • Khayoh Mfiswah - 2012-10-03 20:21

    Nx unions officials get money frm Mine owners, dats y they r failing us as employees especially NUM(national union of mineworkers). Hamban niyofa zinja

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-03 20:28

    Good news. Open ears belong to no class.

      max.reynecke - 2012-10-03 21:28

      ....but understanding what you hear only belongs to a very few in this country!

  • khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-10-03 20:31

    I told u, you will ultimately cave in, illegal strikes is understood better by imperialists, and you think this is all? Wait till next year, this is just the begining, unions aside workers are doing it by themselves.

  • mitch.timour - 2012-10-03 20:48

    A request to any journalist that may read this - Can one do a comparison of what miners earn in the rest of Africa? Maybe also include a comparison of miner's earnings in our fellow BRIC countries i.e. Brazil, China, Russia and India. Could make interesting reading.

  • joe.mangena.1 - 2012-10-03 21:04

    Credit must be given to Chief Commander of EFF, for encouraging miners to fight until bosses come to the table, \r\nviva Juju viva!!

      malcolm.baillie.50 - 2012-10-03 22:11

      No doubt when you paying R15.00/litre because the rand is worth less you will still be saying viva juju.

  • asanda.p.james - 2012-10-03 23:44

    Mine owners didn't care bout the people. People sleep on a hill,no food ,no water• Really capitalization is the mother of all corruption

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