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NUM demands living wage from Harmony Gold

NUM warned Harmony Gold Mine that it should not claim that it can't afford decent wage increases.

FILE: The National Union of Mineworkers' General Secretary Frans Baleni and president Senzeni Zokwana. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has warned Harmony Gold Mine that it should not claim that it can't afford decent wage increases if its executives and chief executive Graham Briggs are still being paid exorbitant salaries.

The NUM says the mine is being opportunistic after Briggs warned that the wage hikes would make job cuts inevitable.

Wage talks in the gold sector are not formally underway yet and the union says it intends demanding a living wage.

The NUM's Frans Baleni said, "What we've seen in terms of the salaries of the executives and the CEO does not reflect economic challenges therefore we will fight for a better living wage."

Meanwhile, the union on Friday said it was still waiting to hold talks with Lonmin to understand the reasons behind its intention to cut 3,500 jobs.

It's understood that Lonmin was planning to cut jobs in the mining sector in an attempt to withstand low platinum prices.

The NUM's Eric Gcilitshana said they wanted to save jobs because far too many people were without employment at the moment.