Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 June 2009 – The Chamber of Mines has raised its offer for wage increases in the coal mining sector from 6.5% to between 8% and 9%.
“Huge progress has been made in the fourth round of negotiations … the chamber’s offer will be taken to the workers for discussion,” Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans said in a statement issued here. The chamber has offered an 8% wage increase for miners, artisans and officials, and an increase of 9% for other employees.
The union has demanded a 15% pay hike – far above the country’s last measured inflation rate of 8.4% – but the coal firms, represented in the negotiations by the Chamber, say they are unable to offer more due to the tight global economic climate.
Fin24.com reports that wage talks in South Africa’s mining sector are watched closely by markets because there is a chance of disruption in output should workers go on strike, and as any wage hikes are likely to boost production costs for mining companies.
Wages in the sector are negotiated every two years, and the next round of negotiations is due on June 30.