”As much as ‘pay back the money’ chants are made in Parliament, we need to chant ‘pay back the workers’ as well. We did our research…we can show you the graph and how the companies coordinated and did this. Gold producers owe workers hundreds of thousands of rands from 2000 to date, a worker should not be earning less than R2 000 a month for overtime,” Mathunjwa told journalists in Johannesburg.
”It is for these reasons that we reject the present offer by the gold companies. We call on the chamber [Chamber of Mines of SA] to review this offer and account for the overtime owed.”
He called the purported overtime monies owed a ”serious scandalous overtime theft from workers in the gold sector.”
Gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony, Sibanye Gold and Evender Gold Mines tabled a guaranteed pay of entry level employees would reach R12 800 and R13 200 per month in the third year of the agreement.
Amcu, which represented 30 persent of workers in the gold sector, demanded an immediate R12 500 basic wage increase. The other unions, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) have conditionally accepted the offer.
The unions accepted the offer on condition that the employers would repackage their offer.
Mathunjwa added that the worsening economic situation in the country should not be blamed on the workers, but government.
”The working class, which remains poor to this day,are not to blame for this. Blame government and its policies…Eskom’s load shedding is having a detrimental effect on the economy.”
When asked whether Amcu would embark on a strike in the gold sector, Mathunjwa said the mandate would come from Amcu members.
”We are in dispute with the employer, we will take it from here together with workers as to what to do next.”
Economist Dirk Fursland, from the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) was expected to make a presentation on how much gold sector mine workers were owed over their years for overtime and how Amcu had calculated monies owed.