HomeBase MetalsKumba revises offer in effort to end wage dispute

Kumba revises offer in effort to end wage dispute

Northam’s Zondereinde
mine in the North
West province
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW — 05 October 2010 – Kumba Iron Ore has revised its offer for a pay raise in another effort to end the strike by thousands of its workers.

Revealing this here, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters:“There is a revised offer and a draft agreement, which will be taken to our members today. I cannot divulge the contents of the agreement now, but there is the possibility of our members perhaps accepting it.”

Kumba “’ a unit of global miner Anglo American and the world’s 10th-largest iron ore producer “’ said last week that the strike would not significantly affect its production due to sufficient iron ore stockpiles. The NUM said last week the strike would affect Kumba’s operations at its Sishen, Kolomela and Thabazimbi units. Officials at Kumba could not be reached immediately for comment.

The NUM is demanding pay raises of between 7.5% and 10 %, depending on the status of workers, in a one-year deal. Kumba had offered wage increases of between 7% and 9.5% on a two-year deal.

Meanwhile the strike by NUM members at Northam Platinum entered its fifth week yesterday.

Seshoka said the union and Northam had failed to reach agreement over wages in yesterday’s talks. A smaller union, Solidarity, last week signed a wage deal with Northam, while NUM  rejected the offer. Northam has offered an 8.5% pay rise increase, well below the NUM’s demand of a 12% increment. The NUM is also demanding R3 500 as a monthly housing allowance.

The strike at the Zondereinde mine was costing Northam 1 000 ounces per day in lost production of platinum.