ANA
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
21 Feb 2017
2:50 pm

Court favours gold producers over union in 2013 wager agreement extension

ANA

The agreement was extended by AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony and Sibanye to Amcu and its members in terms of Section 23 of the Labour Relations Act.

MARIKANA, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 25: Striking miners return to work on June 25, 2014 in Marikana, South Africa. Amcu signed the new wage deal on Tuesdsay, ending the five-month platinum strike. The union accepted the wage settlement that would increase the basic salary of the lowest-paid worker by R1 000 over three years, excluding other benefits. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Simphiwe Nkwali)

The Chamber of Mines on Tuesday welcomed the ruling by the Constitutional Court in favour of the gold producers settling a long-standing matter between employers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

The ruling relates to the decision by the Labour Appeals Court in 2014 to uphold the interim order issued by the Labour Court on an urgent basis in January that year preventing Amcu from embarking on protected strike.

The Labour Court had dismissed Amcu’s application for a strike action in a dispute over wages and other conditions of service on the basis that it was bound by the collective agreement reached for the period July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015.

At the time the agreement was reached, Amcu represented 17 percent of employees in the sector and demanded more than double the basic wages to R12 500 a month.

The Chamber, however, signed a wage agreement with other unions, including Solidarity, Uasa, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), to increase monthly living out allowance from R1 640 to R2 000 in two R180 steps, from September 2013, and again in 2014.

The Chamber, acting on behalf of gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony and Sibanye, on Tuesday said the Constitutional Court ruling brought final certainty on binding nature of the extended 2013 wage agreement.

The agreement was extended by AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony and Sibanye to Amcu and its members in terms of Section 23 of the Labour Relations Act.

Speaking on behalf of the Chamber, Elize Strydom said: “This ruling brings final certainty about the binding nature of the extended 2013 wage agreement reached at a centralised level by way of an inclusive process.”

Amcu spokesperson Manzini Zungu could not be reached for comment.