NEWS & ANALYSIS

Gold producers settle with NUM, UASA and Solidarity - Chamber of Mines

Category 4 and 5 employees, and RDOs, will receive increases of 8%, however AMCU has rejected offer

Wage agreement signed with NUM, UASA and Solidarity

Johannesburg, 10 September 2013:  Gold producers represented by the Chamber of Mines in wage negotiations (AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, Pan African Resources, Rand Uranium, Sibanye Gold and Village Main Reef) are pleased to announce the finalisation of a two-year wage settlement with the National Union of Mineworkers, UASA and Solidarity, with an agreement signed at the Chamber of Mines today.

The NUM, UASA and Solidarity collectively represent around 72% of employees in the gold industry represented by the Chamber of Mines. 

The producers' final offer was conveyed to all unions on Friday, 6 September, and unions were asked to respond to the producers on 9 September 2013. While the NUM, UASA and Solidarity indicated their acceptance of the offer, AMCU indicated that its members did not accept.

Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Elize Strydom said the wage settlement was reached at levels that were "more than employers would have preferred. However, we took the view that the agreement has helped secure stability in the industry for a two-year period. Overall, the settlement represents a reasonably balanced outcome in the best interests of shareholders, management and employees."

Dr Strydom also commended all parties for the peaceful conduct during the strike almost without exception.

The final agreement is for two years, in terms of which:

  • Category 4 and 5 employees, and rock drill operators will receive increases of 8% and other employees 7.5%, effective 1 July 2013.
  • Employees will receive further CPI-linked increases effective 1 July 2014.
  • The current monthly living out allowance of R1,640 will increase to R2,000 in two R180 steps, on 1 September  2013 and 2014.

Commitments were also made on certain additional points:

  • the parties agreed to appoint an expert to investigate and report on organisation design in the gold mining industry;
  • issues dealt with in the Sindisa Project report, mostly relating to enhancing working patterns and arrangements, will continue at company or mine level where appropriate;
  • the companies are committed to working with organised labour to develop joint solutions on issues related to garnishee orders and other aspects of employees' personal financial management; and
  • the minimum medical incapacity benefit will increase from R30,000 to R40,000 over the two years.

With the exception of Pan African Resources, the Gain Share proposal was not included in the final agreement. However, it is considered a potentially valuable mechanism for sharing the benefits of the industry, and a number of producers intend to pursue it in the future.

Statement issued by Dr Elize Strydom, Chamber of Mines, and Charmane Russell, on behalf of the Gold Producers, September 10 2013

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