Pretoria, South Africa — 21 May 2013 – The Chamber of Mines of South Africa will meet with unions early next monthto discuss proposed wage demands for 2013, senior employment relations executive Elize Strydom has confirmed.
“The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) tabled a wage demand on Friday,” she added.
“We have circulated the demands to our members in the gold and coal sectors, and the next step will be to engage the unions.”
A formal meeting will be held between the Chamber and the different unions representing workers in the vast sector, Fin24 reports.
“When we engage them, we will be asking questions for clarity. It takes us roughly three weeks from receiving the demands to calling for the formal meeting,” said Strydom.
The NUM demanded that surface workers receive a minimum amount of R7,000 a month, and underground and open-cast workers R8,000 a month. For all other categories, the union had put a demand of 15%.
General secretary Frans Baleni said rising inflation had inspired the demands. “These demands are informed by many studies which reveal that wages have been growing, but the disposable wage has been under severe strain due to the effects of inflation and other expenses incurred to maintain a worker’s modest lifestyle,” he added.
These demands were prepared for gold and coal mines affiliated to the Chamber of Mines.
Baleni said the union submitted additional demands relating to allowances for housing and commuting.
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced earlier this month it would cut 6,000 jobs instead of the 14,000 it had predicted earlier. The revised figure was met with renewed threats of crippling strikes by trade unions.
Meanwhile workers have reported for duty Workers have reported for duty at the Amplats and Lonmin operations in Rustenburg, and all is reported to be normal at this stage.
Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.