GHIT

Following the start of the consolidated conciliation process through the  Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Monday, gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Evander, Harmony Gold and Sibanye Gold represented by the Chamber of Mines tabled a revised gold wage offer in respect of wages to unions the Association of Mining and Construction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

The revised offers will attract full benefits and will ensure that entry-level, underground employees receive guaranteed basic pay, including allowances and medical and retirement contributions of between R13 728 and R14 611 per month in the third year of the agreement.

This equates to total increases for entry-level, underground employees of between R2 869 and R3 552 over the duration of the agreement.

“As we have indicated throughout the negotiations, our focus is on achieving an agreement which will ensure the sustainability of the industry and jobs as far as possible. The offers made by the companies are generous, significantly above inflation and higher than any increases offered or agreed on in any other industry this year. We are focused on making a real difference to the lives of employees,” Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Dr Elize Strydom said on behalf of the Chamber of Mines, which is representing the gold producers throughout the negotiations process.

Wage offers and benefits                               
In line with the companies’ differing economic circumstances, offers in respect of wages are differentiated as follows:

AngloGold Ashanti has made the following offer to:

  • Category 4 to 8 employees and B-lower officials, an amount of R750 per month in year 1, R775 per month in year 2 and R800 per month in year 3, as well as a R100 per month increase in living-out allowance in year 1.
  • Miners, artisans and officials, an increase of 6% on standard rate of pay in year 1, and 6% or CPI (whichever is the greater) in years 2 and 3.

Evander Gold Mines has made the following offer to:

  • Category 4 to 8 employees and B-lower officials, an amount of R650 per month in year 1, R675 per month in year 2 and R725 per month in year 3, as well as a R100 per month increase in living-out allowance in year 1.
  • Miners, artisans and officials, an increase of 6% on standard rate of pay in year 1, and 6% or CPI (whichever is the greater) in years 2 and 3.

Harmony Gold has made the following offer to:

  • Category 4 to 8 employees and B-lower officials, an amount of R600 per month in year 1, R600 per month in year 2 and R600 per month in year 3, as well as a R100 per month increase in living-out allowance in year 1.
  • Miners, artisans and officials, an increase of 6% on standard rate of pay in years 1, 2 and 3.

Sibanye Gold has made the following offer to:

  • Category 4 to 8 employees and B-lower officials, an amount of R675 per month in year 1, R700 per month in year 2 and R725 per month in year 3, as well as a R100 per month increase in living-out allowance in year 1.
  • Miners, artisans and officials, an increase of 6% on standard rate of pay in year 1, and 6% or CPI (whichever is the greater) in years 2 and 3.

The following additional non-wage offers previously made in response to union demands remain in place:

  • An increase in medical incapacity benefit from R40 000 to R55 000 over three years.
  • Extension of the 2011-2013 concession of the medical aid contribution rates to 60% for employers and 40% for category 4 to 8 employees for three years from the date of the wage agreement.
  • Increase in the current guaranteed minimum severance pay from R20 000 to R30 000 over three years.
  • Extension of retirement age for surface workers to 63 years as from 1 July 2015, subject to meeting company medical examinations and fitness-to-work assessments as required. Employees who wish to retire at 63 or before 63 shall be entitled to do so.

The companies propose that a task team be established to investigate the extension of the retirement age for underground employees from 60 to 63 years of age. The task team must complete a written report on its findings and recommendations within six months.

“As the producers, we cannot ensure the sustainability of our industry on our own. We urge all parties to consider the situation the industry currently finds itself in and the long-term consequences of unrealistic wage increases. We further urge the unions and our employees to seriously consider this offer,” Dr Strydom concluded.

Further conciliation between the parties has been scheduled for Monday 21 September 2015.

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