Johannesburg, South Africa — 27 August 2013 – The Chamber of Mines of South Africa was set to meet the country’s gold producers today for further discussions on a wage increase offer.
Revealing this here, Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis was quoted by Fin24 as saying that the meeting between the union and the chamber yesterday was mostly spent discussing substantive issues pertaining to wage negotiations. They had also used the time to ‘tie up loose ends.’
“In yesterday’s meeting, we indicated that if the negotiations continued to be conducted in good faith, we could consider a substantial move from our 10% wage increase demand,” Du Plessis said. He added that Solidarity members in the gold sector would accept an offer that was 2% above the current consumer price index figures.
“We could settle with 8.3% if the spirit of collective bargaining is upheld; our philosophy is that we want the collective bargaining process to work for everyone."
The chamber was due to report back to Solidarity in a meeting at a later time today. Solidarity hoped there would be a clear indication of whether gold producers would increase their current offer of 6% for category four and five employees, and for rock drill operators.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it had met employers to try and avert strike action should an agreement be reached before Saturday.
“We met with gold producers yesterday and we still don’t agree, but they still have time until we issue them with a strike notice,” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.
NUM wanted a minimum of R7,000 per month for surface workers and R8,000 for underground workers. When the chamber could not meet its demands, NUM, along with the United Association of SA (UASA) rejected the chamber’s revised offer and was issued a certificate of non-resolution.
NUM marched to the chamber’s offices last Saturday and gave it seven days to respond.
Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.