The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has advised that it will formally declare a dispute over the 2015 gold wage negotiations and refer the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for mediation.

This follows the formal rejection of the gold producers’ final wage offer by unions the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and NUM last week after a two-day mediated process during which the companies engaged with all the unions on repackaging the final offer.

The rejected final offer, tabled on 30 July 2015, was made on the basis that it was accepted by all unions and offered wage increases of up to 17% – far from the unions wage demands for increases of between 70% to over 100%.

In line with conditions shared with the unions, the gold companies have reverted to the firm offer made on 29 June 2015, which proposes that entry-level employees receive wage increases of between 7% and 13%.

“At the outset of wage negotiations we made our intention clear to secure a wage agreement that would ensure the sustainability of the industry.

“We welcome the opportunity to continue to engage with the unions under the auspices of the CCMA in a constructive manner,” Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Dr Elize Strydom said.

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