Part of DRDGold’s
Ergo gold reclamation
Johannesburg, South Africa — 10 October 2013 – More than 600 members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are continuing a pay strike at DRDGold’s Ergo operation in Brakpan, near Johannesburg in South Africa.

Fin24 quotes the company as reporting that management and union representatives are continuing to engage in a constructive manner to find an amicable solution which will ensure the sustainability of the operation and jobs in the long term.

The plant’s entire full-time work force downed tools on Tuesday after the company had refused to accede to its demands. It wanted all entry-level employees be ‘rolled up’ from job category four to job category six, and the extension of a skills retention increase from engineering foremen to all foremen.

The company has offered workers a basic wage increase of 8% for a two-year period for employees in job categories four and five.

It has offered a 7.5% wage increase for employees in categories six to 15, with 10% increases in the living out allowances for 2013 and 2014.

“The effect of the implementation of the company’s offer would be an 8.1% increase in the company’s annual wage bill, amounting to approximately R19 million per annum,” the company said. If the company were to accede to the union’s demand, its wage bill would amount to R43 million a year, it said.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the union wanted the company to give workers an offer similar to that which the Chamber of Mines had offered.

“We are saying we want them to offer the same deal that the Chamber of Mines did, which included living out benefits."

In September, the chamber signed a wage agreement with unions offering to increase living out allowances to R2 000.

Seshoka said workers’ living out allowance was currently R1 800, and they wanted DRDGold to raise it to R2 000.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.