Gold Fields’ striking workers back at work

Picture: Neil McCartney.

Striking National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) staff at Gold Fields have returned to work at the South Deep mine after receiving a two-year salary offer, the company said on Monday.

The workers returned to their posts on Friday, it said in a statement. “We are pleased that the strike was resolved speedily and that it was conducted peacefully,” said Gold Fields South Africa managing executive Kgabo Moabelo.

“We believe a two-year agreement will promote certainty and stability.” The revised offer was presented on Wednesday by the Chamber of Mines, which represents the companies AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

Under the two-year offer, category four and five employees, and rock drill operators, will receive increases of eight percent, and other employees 7.5 percent with effect from July 1.

Employees will also receive inflation-linked increases with effect from July 1 next year, and the monthly living out allowance of R1640 will increase to R2000.

Evander Gold and Village Main Reef reached an agreement with the NUM and Uasa on Wednesday. On Monday, Harmony Gold said operations at all its mines were back to normal.

“[Harmony] is pleased to advise that operations at all of its mines were normalised with effect from the night shift on 8 September 2013,” it said.

On Sunday, the NUM said disgruntled workers, who embarked on a strike last Tuesday, had accepted a new wage offer.

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs said the strike would affect both the company’s performance for the quarter, and employees’ earnings.

“Nonetheless, we are pleased to have reached a resolution,” he said.

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