Gold sector wage talks fail

Image courtesy AFP

Image courtesy AFP

Two unions in the gold mining sector could go on strike after rejecting the latest wage offer by the Chamber of Mines, the CCMA said on Thursday.

The National Union of Mineworkers and United Associated of SA rejected the chamber’s revised offer and they were issued a certificate of non-resolution. Earlier on Thursday, NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said union members would be consulted on the negotiations and balloted on a strike.

“The strike could be on next week. We have not yet served a notice to strike.”

NUM wanted R7000 a month for surface workers and R8000 for underground workers. Gold producers represented at the chamber said attempts were made to address some of the unions’ many demands.

“The employers tabled a revised offer of six percent for category four and five employees, and for rock drill operators [RDOs],” said Charmane Russell on behalf of gold producers.

“In addition, the offer in respect of living-out or accommodation allowances will be increased in line with inflation.”

She said the offer would increase the basic wage for underground entry level employees to R5300 per month, and the living-out allowance to around R1730 per month.

“In terms of this offer, the guaranteed wage for entry level employees will be R9120 per month.”

The CCMA said the unions were now able to embark on a protected strike after giving the required 48 hours notice.

“Despite the issuance of the certificate of non-resolution, the parties are not precluded from further engagement to find resolution and the CCMA will be ready and willing to assist parties in this regard,” the commission said.

The conciliation process with the remaining trade unions, Solidarity and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was scheduled to continue on Monday.

– Sapa




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