Solidarity gold sector talks to continue

By Drum Digital
27 August 2013

The Chamber of Mines is set to meet gold producers on Tuesday for further discussions on a wage increase offer, trade union Solidarity said.

Solidarity general secretary Gideon Du Plessis said the meeting between the union and the chamber on Monday, was mostly spent discussing substantive issues pertaining to wage negotiations.

He said they also used the time to 'tie up loose ends".

"In yesterday's meeting, we indicated that if the negotiations continue to be conducted in good faith, we can consider a substantial move from our 10 percent wage increase demand," Du Plessis said.

He said Solidarity members in the gold sector would accept an offer that was two percent above the current consumer price index figures.

"We could settle with 8.3 percent if the spirit of collective bargaining is upheld... our philosophy is that we want the collective bargaining process to work for everyone." The chamber was due to report back to Solidarity in a meeting at a later time on Tuesday. Solidarity hoped there would be a clear indication of whether or not gold producers would increase their current offer of six percent for category four and five employees, and for rock drill operators. Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it met employers to try and avert strike action should an agreement be reached before Saturday. "We met with gold producers yesterdayand we still don't agree, but they still have time until we issue them with a strike notice," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said. NUM wanted a minimum of R7000 per month for surface workers and R8000 for underground workers. When the chamber could not meet its demands, NUM along with the United Association of SA (Uasa) rejected the chamber's revised offer and was issued a certificate of non-resolution.

NUM marched to the chamber's offices last Saturday and gave them seven days to respond.

-by Sapa

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