Sibanye wage offer: Rival unions protecting capitalists, says Amcu

Joseph Mathunjwa
Joseph Mathunjwa

Johannesburg - Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa has defended his union's success at getting Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL] to present a new wage offer at the weekend, despite criticism from other unions.

Last week, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) reacted with anger over Sibanye Gold's revised offer to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) of R25 on top of the gold sector wage agreement signed in 2015.

The 2015 agreement had been signed by NUM, Solidarity and the United Association of SA (Uasa). Since the announcement of the revised offer, the unions have criticised both Amcu and Sibanye Gold for coming to an agreement outside the collective bargaining forum at the Chamber of Mines.

On Monday, Mathunjwa accused the unions of defending capitalist interests.

"It shows that NUM, Solidarity and Uasa are protecting the capitalist... Why do they cry foul if the money goes to the workers' pockets?"

Mathunjwa suggested that the unions should rather learn from Amcu on how it had come to an even better agreement, rather than criticising them.

"They hijacked the offer that was brought through our hard negotiations at Boksburg and we showed them and proved to them that we can do better than that."

Sibanye Gold's new offer with Amcu is: R700 for year one, R725 for year two and R800 for year three, the union tweeted on Sunday. This is R25 more for the first two years and R75 more for the third year than the wage agreement the company signed last year with three other unions at the gold sector bargaining council.

NUM signed an agreement with Sibanye Gold in 2015 for R675 in year one, R700 in year two and R725 in year three.

The new agreement follows a threat by Amcu last week that it would shut down the mine over unmet wage demands.

The threat came after a court ruling prohibiting the union from protesting against the three-year wage agreement that NUM, Solidarity and the Uasa had signed with the mining company.

Mathunjwa described the agreement as a victory for the workers.

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