NUM serves Zondereinde with notice to strike

2013-10-31 14:20

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has served the Zondereinde platinum mine in Limpopo with a notice to strike, Northam Platinum has said.

The NUM rejected the company’s wage offer during two-day wage negotiations facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) earlier this week, it said today in a statement.

“The facilitation process followed on from the parties’ failure to reach agreement on wage increases and other issues for the 2014 financial year at the talks held on Friday 25 October 2013 under the auspices of the CCMA,” the mine said.

“The company tabled an improved offer, with increases ranging from 7% and 8% for the first year, and between 7% and 7.5% for year two, or CPI [consumer price index] plus 1%, whichever is the higher.”

It said the previous offers tabled ranged from 6.5% to 7.5% and 6.5% to 7%, or CPI plus 1%.

The NUM’s demands included not having a multiyear wage deal and a distinction between core (production employees) and noncore employees.

“The demand for noncore employees is an increase of R2 000 on basic wages – equivalent to 22% to 42% at the lowest levels,” Northam said.

“The demand for core employees is an increase of R2 100 on basic wages – equivalent to 23% to 43% at the lowest level. The living out allowance is to be increased by 69% from R2 200 to R3 718.”

Northam said if combined the NUM demands were equal to an average increase of 61%, while its revised offer would add about R117.3 million to the current annual R1.3 billion wage bill.

If an agreement was not reached by Saturday, the strike was expected to begin with effect from the night shift on Sunday.

General manager Danny Gonsalves said management would continue to engage with the union in a constructive manner to achieve an outcome acceptable to both parties and to ensure the stability of the operation and jobs.

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