De Beers, NUM reach wage agreement

2013-07-06 14:23

De Beers and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have reached an agreement of a 9% wage increase, the diamond mining company has said.

Wayne Smerdon, De Beers’ head of employee relations, said today the agreement was signed yesterday evening.

The terms of the settlement apply to jobs in the A, B and lower C band bargaining unit.

“The employees in these jobs will receive a 9% increase effective from May 2013. Mining operations continued without interruption at all three of De Beers South African diamond mines,” said Smerdon.

He said the company and the NUM also agreed to phase out the 25 remaining A band positions which still existed at the Kimberley mines operation and at the diamond trading company in Kimberley.

The NUM represents 1 300 employees who fill the bargaining unit jobs in those operations.

The NUM yesterday said it was planning to down tools after an agreement could not be reached during the negotiations.

Workers were demanding a wage increase of 13%, while the company offered 6%.

The NUM union also wanted an increase in annual leave days. Smerdon said the NUM and De Beers committed to engage around housing matters and to develop mechanisms that promoted homeownership for employees in the housing gap market.

This would assist employees who fall between the government RDP housing schemes and the formal home loan market.

De Beers Consolidated Mines employs approximately 2 550 people working on three mines in South Africa – Kimberley, Venetia and Voorspoed and in various support services.

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