The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Wednesday declared a deadlock on the 2015 gold wage negotiations and has indicated that they will be referring the dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

All four unions in the gold wage negotiations – AMCU, NUM, Solidarity and UASA – on Monday rejected the opening offer from the gold producers.

The gold producers proposed a five-year wage deal with annual wage increases between 7.8% and 13%, including a share of profits as well as employment guarantees and other social benefits.

On Tuesday, the gold producer responded to mining unions saying that their wage demands were unaffordable.

“The demands made by the four unions are unaffordable, as high as an additional R16.5 billion across the five companies when one of the union’s demands is extrapolated. Acceding to these demands would threaten the sustainability of our industry, and would jeopardise almost all current jobs,” the gold producers said in a joint statement.

Despite this, the gold wage negotiations between gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Evander Gold Mines, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Gold and Village Main Reef and the three remaining unions National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and UASA will continue on Wednesday 15 July 2015.

“Wage 2015 gold wage negotiations will continue at a central level, while the dispute resolution process will continue with AMCU.

“Wage negotiations is a process – one where the parties have to find each other to reach an agreement and there are many constructive mechanisms provided for in our legislation. As the producers, we would like to see an agreement that would ensure the long-term sustainability of our industry and the jobs it provides.” Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Dr Elize Strydom said.

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