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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the Kimberley Region has declared a wage dispute with ASSMANG Operations in South Africa.

A statement from NUM reads:

This follows a failure to reach a wage settlement with the company after the intensified engagement, four months ago.

It is clear from the word go that the company was not serious in engaging the NUM in this year wages negotiations.

The meeting was held virtually although there was plenty of accommodation which could have been used without compromising our health and safety.

“What puzzles the Union was the utterance from the company’s chief negotiator that they are not negotiating with us, they are giving us what they have.

“This is very insulting and offensive because this year is the year of wage negotiations. Previously we signed a three-year wage agreement, this time around due to COVID 19, the mandate is to negotiate a one-year wage agreement,” says Cornelius Manhe, NUM Kimberley Regional Secretary.

The NUM demand at ASSMANG initially was 15% across the board, however, as a mature union, we are currently on 9 % for B Band and 7.5% for C Band. Even after this progressive move by NUM the company is still adamant that they only offer 5.4% across the board.

The said percentage is an insult to our members, especially those who are at a lower level.

“The NUM referred the dispute to the CCMA, at some point in time our case was closed for no reason. It is only after we wrote the letter to CCMA Senior commissioner that our matter was reinstated.

“The matter is scheduled for conciliation at the CCMA and our members are angry because the company has no intention of settling the matter.

“This company is very arrogant; they refused a meeting with us which was going to be more effective for both parties and they also refused to sign the picketing rules,” Manhe says.

The NUM is currently involved in a mobilization process amongst its members, preparing them for a protected strike.