Unions declare wage dispute in gold sector

2013-07-24 14:30

Pay talks in the gold mining industry will move to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), unions and gold producers said.

“The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity, and Uasa have declared a dispute, and have referred the matter to the CCMA for mediation,” Charmane Russell said today on behalf of gold producers.

“This will give the parties an opportunity to engage, with the assistance of a mediator, for around a 30-day period.”

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, the fourth union involved in the negotiations, has requested additional information, to which the producers would respond, she said.

Last week the producers, AngloGold Ashanti, Evander Gold Mine, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, Rand Uranium, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef, proposed a four percent pay rise for workers in the opening round of this year’s wage talks.

Ahead of talks, NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the four percent increase was not enough.

“We have rejected that four percent with the contempt that it deserves.”

The NUM wanted surface workers to earn a minimum of R7?000 a month, and underground and open-cast workers R8?000 a month.

During today’s negotiations, the producers raised the increase to five percent in respect of wages and benefits.

“The effect of this offer would be to raise the guaranteed pay of entry-level underground employees for major gold-producing companies to at least R9 000 per month,” Russell said.

“These figures include basic wage, living-out allowance, medical benefit and retirement contribution and exclude statutory benefits, other allowances, profit share, overtime and bonuses.”

Despite the increase, three of the four negotiating unions declared a dispute.

“We are referring this to the CCMA immediately. If we don’t agree there, we will strike,” Seshoka said.

Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said, in a statement, the union believed wage negotiations in the gold industry this year would gain momentum only if a facilitation process was followed.

“The Chamber of Mines announced today that it would improve its initial wage offer of only four percent for employees in the gold industry with a mere one percentage point and therefore we believe that facilitating should take place sooner rather than later to give negotiations a boost,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.