underground mines
NUM believes the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) wage agreement does not achieve the monthly salary of R12 500 for its underground workers.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Wednesday that it deliberately did not sign the wage agreement with Amplats as it “does not benefit the mineworkers in the platinum belt”.

The NUM believes that the current 3-year wage agreement has still not achieved a monthly salary of R12 500 for underground workers, and that they will only earn R11 500 per month.

“The NUM believes that mineworkers deserve better salaries and benefits, but not lies,” the union said in a statement. It argued that the entire wage agreement is a “big loss to poor mineworkers” as benefits are calculated from a base below their basic salaries.

William Mabapa, NUM deputy general secretary and chief negotiator at Amplats, said the wage agreement signed by Amplats and AMCU  violated the recognition agreement signed by the NUM on 9 February 2009, UASA and NUMSA on 17 February 2009 and AMCU on 25th February 2013.

The clauses that have been violated, according to the NUM, include:

  • 7.1.1, which states that the parties have a central collective bargaining structure required to prevent fragmented negotiations on substantive issues;
  • 7.2.2, which says that unions which have collective bargaining/substantive negotiation rights in terms of clause 6.3 of the recognition agreement will be entitled to and required to bargain together in the central bargaining forum; and
  • 7.3.3.4, which stipulates that any agreements reached in the Central Bargaining Forum shall be reduced to writing and signed by all parties.

“Workers are highly ripped off in this agreement,” said NUM’s Mabapa.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and Amplats signed a new three-year wage deal on 28 October.

The wage deal, which will be applied retrospectively from 1 July 2016, includes an annual increase of 7% or R1 000 per month in basic pay, whichever is greater, with increases ranging from 12.5% for the lowest paid employees to 7% for other bargaining unit employees in higher level bands.

Amplats has extended this agreement to the NUM, the United Association of South Africa, as well as non-union affiliated employees.