After 11 weeks of striking over wages, NUM workers have ‘unanimously accepted’ Northam Platinum’s offer to increase wages between 8.5% and 9.5% as well as a R3,000 one-off payment spread over two years. Northam also offered a 9% increase on the living-out allowance.
Despite the wage increase, the strike has cost employees greatly, as workers are estimated to have given up 21% of their annual earnings for a 9.5% increase. Nevertheless, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) chief negotiator Ecliff Tantsi said the settlement was a ‘futuristic settlement’ that was not intended to make up the difference.
“The strike that was characterised by unity, peace and harmony has come to an end,” the union said in a statement. Nearly 7000 workers downed tools at at Northam’s Zondereinde mine near Thabazimbi, losing more than R130m over the 11-week strike.
Northam has lost revenue of nearly R700m, but says that “NUM has accepted the company’s final offer in terms of the negotiations around annual wage increases and conditions of employment. Management has agreed to a further meeting provided it is held under the auspices of the CCMA,” Northam said in a statement.