Johannesburg, South Africa — 23 August 2013 – At least two of the trade unions in the South African gold mining sector are likely to go on strike next week, after rejecting the latest wage offer by the Chamber of Mines, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has revealed.

 “The conciliation process in the gold sector wage dispute continued on Tuesday and Wednesday under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration,” the commission said in a statement reported by Fin24.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and United Association of SA (UASA) rejected the chamber’s revised offer and they were issued a certificate of non-resolution.

Earlier yesterday, NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said union members would be consulted on the negotiations and balloted on a strike. “The strike could be on next week…we’ve not yet served a notice to strike.”

NUM wanted R7,000 a month for surface workers and R8,000 for underground workers.
Gold producers represented at the chamber said attempts were made to address some of the unions’ many demands.

“The employers tabled a revised offer of 6% for category four and five employees and for rock drill operators [RDOs],” said Charmane Russell on behalf of the gold producers.

“In addition, the offer in respect of living-out or accommodation allowances will be increased in line with inflation,” she added.

She explained that  the offer would increase the basic wage for underground entry level employees to R5,300 per month and the living-out allowance to around R1,730 per month.

“In terms of this offer, the guaranteed entry level wage will be R9,120 per month.”

The CCMA pointed out that the unions were now able to embark on a protected strike after giving the required 48 hours notice.

 “Despite the issuance of the certificate of non-resolution, the parties are not precluded from further engagement to find resolution, and the CCMA will be ready and willing to assist parties in this regard,” the commission said.

The conciliation process with the remaining trade unions, Solidarity and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is scheduled to continue on Monday.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.