1 minute read
7 Nov 2013
7:35 pm

Northam ready for more talks

Northam Platinum is ready for further talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) after the union rejected its latest pay offer on Thursday, the company said.

FILE PICTURE: Miners. Picture: Michel Bega

“The management of the Zondereinde division of Northam has been advised by the NUM that the strike at the mine will continue,” it said in a statement.

“Management at Zondereinde has indicated that it is willing to have further discussions in an attempt to resolve the current impasse.”

Earlier on Thursday, the NUM rejected Northam’s revised wage offer.

On Tuesday, the company offered non-core category two to eight employees 7.5 percent increases, and core employees in the same categories 8.5 percent increases, said chief negotiator Ecliff Tantsi.

In categories nine and 10, the company revised its offer to seven percent for non-core workers and 7.5 percent for core workers, and the living out allowance to seven percent, he said. The company was proposing a two-year wage agreement.

The NUM’s negotiating team met union leaders on Wednesday to brief them about the offer, and met its members at Northam Platinum on Thursday. They unanimously opposed the offer.

“Our members are opposed to percentage driven increases and are in favour of quantum driven increases,” said Tantsi.

“Workers are further opposed to a two-year wage agreement with the company. Our members are further demanding that the employer must respond to the demands that are presented by the workers.”

Workers were prepared to listen to a staggered offer if the company could not meet its demand for a R2100 increase for core workers and a R2000 increase for non-core workers.

“Our members are also opposed to the implementation date of the wage agreement from August 1, that the company is offering, and are in favour of July 1,” said Tantsi.

“Our members have warned that it is non-negotiable.”

He said the union was open to further negotiations, but that the strike at the company’s Zondereinde mine, in Limpopo, which began on Sunday, would continue.