And now for R18 000 pm - NUM

The Chamber of Mines says outcomes of bi-annual negotiations have always been respected

NUM's general secretary Frans Baleni
Frans Baleni

The Chamber of Mines (CoM) says outcomes of bi-annual negotiations have always been respected by the various parties and it therefore didn’t want to set a precedent for future scenarios. But it was prepared to fast-track the work of a task team, established in 2011 to investigate matters on job grading.


“This relates to, among other things, the elimination of the lowest wage category and the inclusion of those employees in the next job grade, which would have the effect of raising the minimum wage,” read a statement. “It also relates to the status of operators, including rock drill operators.”


What the CoM is facing are wage demands by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)  of between R12 500 and  R18 000 per month should the two parties and other unions agree to bring bi-annual wage negotiations for the gold and coal sector forward from 2013  to this year.


NUM’s move is seen as an attempt to win back support from mineworkers who continue to sidestep established bargaining structures during the current spate of unprotected wildcat strikes across the industry.


NUM met the CoM yesterday with the view of reopening existing wage agreements  for the gold and coal sectorwhich  are valid until June 30 2013 after the issue wasbrought up a meeting between NUM and the CoM on September 21.


Frans Baleni, NUM’s general secretary, told Mining Mix on Tuesday that the union wouldn’t negotiate around a universal percentage increase, but put forward minimum wages based on the profitability of individual companies and operations. The demand of R18,000 per month would be made for what was in NUM’s view the most profitable and sustainable operations. The starting point for lesser mines would be either R16,000 or R12,500.

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Issue 42