HomeGoldNUM lowers wage demand at DRDGold

NUM lowers wage demand at DRDGold

Crown mine “’ one of
DRDGold’s strike
-affected operations
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 October 2009  – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it has lowered its demand for a pay rise at strike-hit DRDGold Limited “’ South Africa’s fourth biggest gold producer “’ but the union has rejected the company’s improved offer at one of the mines.

In a statement issued here, NUM said it had reduced its demand from 13% to 10%, a day after about 4 000 workers marched in a wage protest at DRDGold’s Blyvoor mine, raising chances the company’s operations will be affected and more jobs lost.

“We are prepared to settle for 10%. If they can meet that, it will be fine with us, but if they don’t we are refusing any other offer,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.

The union added that it had rejected an improved offer of 7.5% for its members at DRDGold’s Crown mine.

Meanwhile DRDGold Limited “’ South Africa’s fourth biggest gold producer “’ has confirmed that wage-related strike action by a total of 4 400 employees in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) recognition units at the company’s Blyvooruitzicht and Crown operations, is continuing. This is costing the company R2.4 million a day.

A company statement released here confirmed that management’s offer of a basic wage increase varying between 4.0% at the East Rand Proprietary Mines Limited (ERPM) operation and 15% for certain job categories at Blyvoor “’ together with a Blyvoor and Crown gold profit-sharing scheme which could add up to a further 8.5% “’ had been rejected by the NUM prior to the start of strike action.

The statement added that total daily gold production loss due to the strike action “’ mainly from Blyvoor’s labour-intensive underground mining operation “’ was estimated at approximately 320 ounces, worth some R2.4 million at the current Rand gold price.

It said the impact of the strike on Blyvoor’s surface retreatment operation and on Crown (which is entirely a surface retreatment operation) had not been significant to date.

Employees in the NUM recognition unit at ERPM have continued to report for work as usual.

A Section 189A 60-day consultation process in terms of the Labour Relations Act to effect retrenchments of redundant positions following the suspension of all underground operations at ERPM has been concluded. At Blyvoor, a Section 189A 60-day consultation process on right-sizing the operation is continuing.