NUM calls for 15% wage increase for workers in gold sector

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NUM members protest in this file picture.
NUM members protest in this file picture.
Mpumelelo Buthelezi

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has put forward a 15% wage demand for its workers in the gold sector, warning that arrogance by the employers will be met with militancy.

The increases put forward are for a three-year bargaining period, from 2021 to 2023.

According to the union, it will be for the first time in the history of wage bargaining in the gold sector that negotiations will be conducted with individual companies, outside of the traditional centralised collective process.

This year Harmony Gold and Sibanye Stillwater pulled out of the Central Bargaining Forum for the 2021 negotiations, a move the NUM said would "disadvantage the workers."

"We don't support decentralisation as it will disadvantage workers because wage offers and conditions of employment will be different from one company to another," the union had said.

NUM acting general secretary, William Mabapa, said on Thursday the 15% wage increase, with a minimum pay of R15 000, was "fairly reasonable and could be easily met by the employers".

Other demands include:

  • Employee Share Ownership Plan Scheme dividends to be paid annually.
  • Number of paid annual leave must increase from 30 to 35 days.
  • Paid maternity leave of six months.
  • Minimum stand-by allowance of R5 000 per month.
  • Funeral benefits increased from R40 000 to R60 000.
  • Skills-retention incentive of R4 600.
  • Long-service awards paid in an interval of five years at a minimum of R10 000.
  • Ten days of Covid-19 leave.

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