Mining industry: Solidarity accepts Chamber of Mines' final offer
Trade union Solidarity has welcomed the agreement that was reached today in the Chamber of Mines regarding a salary increase for employees in the gold industry. The final offer of an increase of 7,5% for Solidarity's skilled members and an increase of 8% for entry-level employees is somewhat lower than what the union had hoped for, as the increase of year two of the agreement comes to consumer price inflation plus 0,5 percentage points and a minimum guaranteed increase of 6,5%.
The trade union's members accepted the offer given the current conditions in the gold industry and in the hope that the agreement will promote the sustainability of the industry.
Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary of Solidarity, says the trade union is, however, concerned about the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's possible rejection of the final offer. Three of the four trade unions involved in the negotiations for employees in the gold industry are likely to accept the offer. ‘We are also concerned about Harmony Gold's failure so far to pay back unauthorised medical fund deductions amounting to thousands of rands to its employees.
Harmony owes up to R30 000 in reimbursements to some of its employees and approximately R4 million in reimbursements to Solidarity members. Solidarity will not use Harmony's malicious failure to make the reimbursements as a means to hold up the wage agreement, but will consider alternative legal remedies instead.'
Du Plessis said that signing the agreement in the gold industry as quickly as possible would be in the country's best interests.
Statement issued by Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary: Solidarity, September 9 2013
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