Two new wage offers snubbed by striking Sibanye workers

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Striking workers gather at Driefontein gold mine.
Striking workers gather at Driefontein gold mine.
Photo: National Union of Mineworkers

Yet another wage offer was presented to striking workers at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mining operations, but striking unions say the deal has received no support on the ground.

A mass meeting called by the unions – the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) - was held at the mining company’s Driefontein gold mine in Carletonville, Johannesburg, on Friday.

Against a wage demand of a R1 000 increase in each year of a three-year agreement, the unions presented two options which had been offered by the company, and seeks to extend the deal to five years.

The first offer is for increases of R800 for three years – as was previously offered – but now also offers an increase of R850 in year four and an increase of R900 in year six. Added to these figures is a R50 increase in the living-out allowance each year, plus a profit-sharing scheme. Earlier on Friday Fin24 reported Sibanye-Stillwater had offered striking workers a profit share of 5% in perpetuity in an attempt to settle the wage strike at its gold operations which began on 10 March.

The second offer includes the same increase in the living out allowance, R800 increases in each of the three years, a R900 increase in the fourth year, and a R1 000 increase in the fifth.

Speaking to Fin24 shortly after the mass meeting ended, AMCU’s Joseph Mathunjwa said the offer was rejected unanimously from the vocal crowd.

The profit-sharing proposal was also not enticing. "We can talk about that in another platform, but for now they want an increase in their salaries," he said.

A Sibanye spokesperson said the company had offered multiple options in hopes it would help parties to find an agreement.

Reacting to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe's suggestion that his department could revoke Sibanye's mining rights as a result of its failure to pursue mining activities, Mathunjwa said: "He is on the right track, it's very late. They should just revoke that licence and give it to other people. I support him."

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