City Press

Wage negotiations in the gold and coal mining industries will reopen under an agreement reached in a meeting between unions and the Chamber of Mines, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has said.

“The Chamber agreed to negotiate … (an) increase for entry level workers, (and) adjustment or upgrading for operators, which includes rockdrill operators …,” spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement yesterday.

A meeting between the NUM, the Chamber of Mines, Solidarity and UASA was held in Johannesburg yesterday.

The unions wanted wage negotiations, which are meant to take place around April or May next year, to be brought forward.

Seshoka said the meeting was a follow-up to one held two weeks ago, and that another meeting was scheduled for Tuesday.

At this meeting, it was expected “an actual wage offer will be tabled in rand and cents”, Seshoka said.

“The Chamber further raised the issue that the current unprotected strikes will have devastating negative effects and consequences especially for the gold sector.”

There was also mutual concern over the violence and intimidation which had accompanied the recent strikes in the mining sector.

The Chamber of Mines could not immediately be reached for comment.

The French news agency Agence France-Presse reported that Chamber of Mines negotiator Elize Strydom confirmed that contracts for entry level workers and operators would be reviewed.

“This is not a good situation. We try to resolve all these issues and address them as a matter of urgency,” she said. City Press