The wage deal, effective for the period from the start of July 2016 until the end of June 2018, is for workers at the Implats refinery operation, situated in Springs, east of Johannesburg.
The agreement provides for increases on basic wages of between 7.5% to 10% per annum, with entry-level employees benefitting from higher percentage increases.
In addition, other benefits, such as medical and housing allowances will increase by 7% and between 4% and 7% per annum respectively, over the two year period.
Wage increase breakdown
B-lower and B-upper employees will receive a 10% increase a year, while B5 employees will receive an 8.5% increase a year.
Moreover, B7 and C-lower employees will receive an 8% increase in the first year and a 7.5% increase in the second year.
Medical subsidies for NUM members will also increase from the current R490 to R524 in 2016 and R561 in 2017, with increases for first dependents and other dependents also.
Accommodation allowances will also increase.
B-lower and B-upper allowances will increase from the current R2 365 to R2 460 in 2016 and to R2 632 in 2017, while allowances for B5 and B7 employees will also increase from the current R2 870 to R2 985 in 2016 and to R3 194 in 2017.
Accommodation allowances for C-lower employees will increase to R5 343 in 2016, from the current R5 343, and will again crease in 2017 to R5 557.
The parties also agreed that the 4-shift cycle shift allowance will increase from the current 13% to 13.5%
The refinery employs about 1 000 people, about 500 of which are NUM employees.
“The signed wage agreement provides a reasonable compromise between employee expectations, current wage inflation and the economic realities that dictate the financial sustainability of our business,” says Implats spokeperson Johan Theron.
“We thank and congratulate those involved for the maturity and professionalism with which this settlement was secured, under extremely challenging economic circumstances. We look forward to labour stability and the opportunity to work together with our partners in advancing our refining operations for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” says Theron.
“The NUM wishes to express its sincere gratitude to its members at Impala Platinum (Refineries) for the manner in which they behaved during the negotiation period until they gave us the mandate to sign this agreement.
“Our members are excited and they gave us the mandate to sign this agreement,” NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said in a statement, adding that the NUM members at Impala Platinum (Refineries) were quite pleased and excited that the wage agreement was concluded without any strike, violence, intimidation and loss of life.
This wage settlement follows a strike by NUM members at Implats refinery last week after the NUM declared a wage dispute with the company at the CCMA when a settlement could not be reached despite five rounds of wage negotiations that began in early July 2016.