Gold wage agreement key for industry sustainability - Minerals Council

Wage negotiations in the gold sector will begin this week, and a representative of the producers says reaching an agreement is critical for the industry’s sustainability.

Unions including Solidarity, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and UASA - formerly named the United Association of South Africa, - will be meeting with producers AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Harmony [JSE:HAR], Sibanye-Stillwater [JSE:SGL] and Village Main Reef.

NUM tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that it would approach the negotiations with "much agility and determination". Its demands include R9 500 a month for an entry-level surface worker, R10 500 for an entry-level underground miner, and a "15% across [the] board" hike. 

"It is critical that the parties find common ground in the interest of the sustainability of our industry," said Motsamai Motlhamme, head of employment relations at the Minerals Council (formerly the Chamber of Mines) in a statement. 

The negotiations will have two independent plenary chairpersons to "ensure the process is run seamlessly," according to the Minerals Council.

The gold producing companies employ over 80 000 people as miners, artisans and officials. About 200 employer and employee representatives are expected to participate in negotiations.

The current wage agreements are set to came to an end on June 30, 2018 and new agreements will be back-dated to July 1, the statement read.

Bloomberg previously reported that AMCU was demanding a R12 500 monthly minimum wage. The NUM submitted demands for entry-level underground pay of R10 500 per month.

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