NUM issues warning as unions and coal miners agree to collective wage talks

(iStock)
(iStock)

Cape Town – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Thursday warned against mining companies bargaining individually as the Chamber of Mines announced an agreement between unions and miners to continue collective wage talks.

“The industry is gradually decentralising collective bargaining,” NUM president Piet Matosa told his central committee at a meeting in Pretoria on Thursday.

“This has already happened in the coal sector where companies negotiated individually,” he said. “This move seeks to weaken the bargaining power of unions. We must resist this development. Surely, it takes away our gains and advantages. It will destroy our union.”

NUM previously threatened to go on strike if miners negotiated wages on a company-by-company basis.

Matosa’s warning came as the Chamber of Mines announced that coal producers and unions have agreed that the 2017 wage negotiations will take place centrally under the auspices of the Chamber of Mines.

Coal producers Anglo Coal, Delmas Coal, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga, Kangra Coal, Koornfontein Mines and Glencore, met with labour unions NUM, UASA and Solidarity on Friday at the Chamber of Mines to discuss the way forward in respect of wage negotiations during 2017, the chamber said in a statement on Thursday.

“The parties agreed that the 2017 wage negotiations will take place centrally under the auspices of the Chamber of Mines.

“In addition, the parties agreed to conclude a Framework Agreement that will govern the wage negotiations process.

“The parties further agreed to a parallel process to conclude company-level recognition agreements at the same time. Labour unions are expected to submit wage demands during this week.  

“The parties further agreed to engagements in respect of the CCMA advisory arbitration award, which was issued earlier this year.”

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