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South Africa mining unions reject latest offer from gold producers

In the fight for fair salary wages, South African mining unions arent backing down. On Monday, the unions rejected the first pay offer presented by gold...

Admin
|Jul 7|magazine5 min read

In the fight for fair salary wages, South African mining unions aren’t backing down. On Monday, the unions rejected the first pay offer presented by gold mining companies, sticking to their demand for a wage increase of more than 80 percent, according to Bloomberg.

“We want the money,” said Livhuwani Mammburu, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers on Monday.

The proposed offer from AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold Mines and Village Main Reef included wage increases ranging from 7.8 percent to 13 percent, based on a five-year deal, with a  five percent increase in the first year. In addition, share of profits and improved job security and living conditions were included in the offer.

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The unions, which include the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Association of Mineworks and Construction Union (Amcu), Solidarity and United Association of SA (Uasa), have all refused the offer.

Instead, the unions are demanding gold producers to raise the basic pay for underground workers to 10,500 rand (US$846) a month from 5,700 rand (US$456), and to raise basic pay for above-ground employee to 9,500 rand (US$760), including a 15 percent increase for all other categories.

“In large part, all four unions retained their demands without any movement,” Charmane Russell, a spokeswoman for the gold producers, told Bloomberg.

Russell said talks will continue on Tuesday as the “companies remain committed to reaching agreement based on the sustainability of the industry and the retention of jobs.”

The latest rejection appears to be the first signs of a long and difficult road in appeasing both sides.