by Udo Rypstra

Chamber of Mines extends deadline

Monday the new deadline for replies to proposal

Workers have until Monday
National Union of Mine Workers

Gold mine workers belonging to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) now have until Monday to reply to proposals put forward by the Chamber of Mines (CoM) to  get the gold mining industry out of the doldrums. This follows mixed reactions to the proposals.

CoM earlier this week set Thursday as the deadline for workers to accept a wage increase offer, but following talks between the industry body and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), as well as other unions, a new deadline of next week Monday was agreed on.

The CoM, representing AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold, adjusted job categories and associated pay levels on Tuesday in proposals that fals within the parameters of the existing two-year collective agreement signed in 2011.

The increases represent a range of between 2% and around 10% - excluding the 10% annual adjustments implement as part of the existing agreement in July.

They are said to compare favourably with the offer of between 12% and 22%, inclusive of pre-negotiated annual increases, which brought the strike at Lonmin to an end.

The chamber made a number of proposals to address certain “anomalies”, such as doing away with Category 3 employment so that entry level in the gold mining industry becomes Category 4.

CoM also suggested an allowance for rock drill operators, as well as a new category for locomotive, loader, winch and water jet operators, including an improvement in remuneration.

The chamber further proposed some adjustments to the pay for other employees to preserve the integrity of the current job-grading framework.

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Issue 42