NUM rejects latest offer from gold producers

Workers in the gold mining industry have rejected the initial wage offer of between 4,5 and six percent.

Workers are currently in talks with management at Anglo Gold Ashanti, Sibanye, Harmony, Evander and the village Main Reef Mines. Picture: Harmony Gold.

JOHANNESBURG - Workers in the gold mining industry have rejected the initial wage offer of between 4,5 and six percent by four companies at talks underway at the Chamber of Mines.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is the majority union in the industry and says Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity and United Association of South Africa also opposed the offer.

Workers are currently in talks with management at Anglo Gold Ashanti, Sibanye, Harmony, Evander and the Village Main Reef mines.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu explains,"Our members are still demanding R9,500 for the surface and R10,500 for the underground. They also reject the five-year wage agreement the chamber wants to sign with the union saying they might consider a three-year wage agreement."

Meanwhile, NUM is threatening to strike at Glencore after the company announced it would be cutting more than 600 jobs at Optimum Coal over weak market prices.

The union has accused the mine of failing to adhere to its social labour plans and has asked government to intervene and avoid job cuts.

NUM says its members have already been instructed that their contracts expire at the end of this month.

Mammburu said, "Glencore has already given letters of retrenchments to our members to say the final date will be 31 July this year. We aren't going to take this lightly and we will not rule out a strike."