Solidarity
Contract negotiation
Several coal producers have met with labour unions at the Chamber of Mines to conclude a framework agreement going forward.

Coal producers represented at the Chamber of Mines included Anglo Coal, Delmas Coal, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga, Kangra Coal, Koornfontein Mines and Glencore.

The labour unions included the National Union of Mineworkers, UASA and Solidarity.

The meeting was held to discuss the way forward in respect of wage negotiations during 2017.

The parties agreed that the 2017 wage negotiations will take place centrally – under the auspices of the Chamber of Mines.

In addition, the parties agreed to conclude a framework agreement that will govern the wage negotiations process.

The parties further agreed to a parallel process to conclude company-level recognition agreements at the same time.

Labour unions are expected to submit wage demands during this week.

The parties further agreed to engagements in respect of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration advisory arbitration award which was issued earlier this year.

Inadvertently it can be stated that strikes in South Africa’s coal industry have been avoided through the centralised negotiation process.

The coal producers stated in February that they preferred a decentralised negotiation process to enable companies to discuss wages on a mine-by-mine basis. This proposal was vehemently denied by the labour unions.

The National Union of Mineworkers went so far as to call a dispute that led to arbitration hearings conducted by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

It had earlier threatened to call a strike of all members working in the coal sector.

Feature image credit: African Natural Resources Centre