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NUM signs wage deal with De Beers

The deal, which affects about 1,700 workers, also includes a housing subsidy for home owners.

A logo of diamond company De Beers in New York. Picture:  AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Diamond producer De Beers has signed a three-year wage deal with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Anglo American unit said on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding strikes that have plagued the rest of the mining industry.

The agreement comes after the two sides initially hit a deadlock during negotiations, forcing the government labour mediator to step in and handle discussions.

"The discussions were undertaken over several months in a peaceful fashion within the framework of South Africa's progressive labour legislation," De Beers chief executive Phillip Barton said in a statement.

The wage deal includes a nine percent basic pay increase for lower level employees while higher level workers receive an overall package increase of the same margin.

The deal, which affects about 1,700 workers, also includes a housing subsidy for employees owning homes in areas surrounding De Beers' four operations.

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