Johannesburg, South Africa — 11 September 2013 – Three of the four unions in the South African gold industry have signed a two-year wage agreement with gold producers, but the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) remains on the outside at this stage.  

“The wage settlement was reached at levels that were more than employers would have preferred,” said Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Elize Strydom in a statement reported by Fin24.

“However, we took the view that the agreement has helped secure stability in the industry for a two-year period. Overall, the settlement represents a reasonably balanced outcome, in the best interests of shareholders, management and employees,” the statement added.

It was signed by Solidarity, UASA and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which represent about 72% of workers, but not by AMCU. Gold producers’ representative spokesperson Charmane Russell said a statement would be issued later to give more details about AMCU’s failure to sign.

The Chamber of Mines represents AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

On Friday, the gold producers’ final offer was conveyed to all unions and UASA, Solidarity and NUM indicated they would accept. AMCU said its members had rejected the offer, the chamber said..

In terms of the agreement, category four and five employees and rock drill operators would receive an 8% increase and other employees a 7.5% increase from July 1. In July 2014, employees will receive a CPI-linked increase.

The current monthly living out allowance of R1,640 would increase to R2,000 in two R180 steps, on 1 September 2013, and again in 2014.

Strydom said commitments had been made and the parties had agreed to appoint an expert to investigate and report on organisation in the gold mining industry. They also made commitments to work together to develop joint solutions on issues related to garnishee orders and other aspects of employees’ personal financial management.

The minimum medical incapacity benefit would increase from R30,000 to R40,000 over the two years.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.