NUM takes revised offer to workers

Picture: Neil McCartney.

Picture: Neil McCartney.

The NUM’s strike committee has taken the Chamber of Mines’ revised offer to its striking members for consideration, the union said on Thursday.

The committee met earlier in the day to discuss a revised offer made to the National Union of Mineworkers on Wednesday. “The committee have taken the revised offer to the workers and will be addressing them,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said. A decision on whether the workers accept or reject the offer could be announced by the end of Thursday.

Earlier, Seshoka confirmed that the chamber had presented an offer worth the union’s consideration. He did not elaborate on the new details nor could he say if the figures were close to the unions’ demands. “I’m unable to say if it is close or far to what we demanded. The strike committee meeting is underway to evaluate it and decide if we take it to the members or reject it outright.”

Gold producers’ spokeswoman Charmane Russell confirmed that such an offer was presented to the union but remained tight-lipped on what changes were made. “At this stage I cannot say which aspects of the offer were revised… but discussions are at a delicate stage,” Russell said.

Seshoka said, however, the revision was indicative that talks between the union and employers were taking place in good faith. Meanwhile, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) announced its support for the NUM.

“[We] send our unflinching and worker-to-worker solidarity with the striking gold mine workers,” Numsa spokesman Castro Ngobese said in a statement. “We call on the striking workers to use this strike not only for wage increases and demands, but also to forge maximum unity among workers.”

On Wednesday, gold producers Evander Gold and Village Main Reef reached agreement with the NUM and the United Association of SA. “The settlements reached by these companies are [an] eight percent increase in basic wages for category four and five employees, including rock drill operators.

“A 7.5 percent increase in basic wages for category six to eight employees, [including] miners, artisans, and officials,” the chamber’s chief negotiator Elize Strydom said. Seshoka said the agreements were mine-specific and would not affect the dynamics of the strike action.


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