Amcu walks out of gold sector talks

Gold mine producers say it would be 'irresponsible' to agree to Amcu's demand as it's unaffordable.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) walked out of wage negotiations in the gold sector on Wednesday afternoon, while other trade unions Solidarity, National Union of Mineworkers and United Association of South Africa will resume talks next week.

Gold mine producers say it would be 'irresponsible' to agree to the union's salary demand as it is unaffordable.

The highest offer from the mines on the table is 13 percent.

Amcu alone is demanding an R18 billion wage bill from all companies over one year.

AngloGold Ashanti, Evander Gold Mines, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Gold and Village Main Reef said the demands made by the unions are as high as an additional R16,5 billion across the five companies.

Gold producers' spokesperson Charmane Russell said, "Regrettably Amcu has decided to declare a deadlock and invoke a dispute through the dispute resolution mechanism. That doesn't mean talking won't continue."

Furthermore, gold producers say although it is regrettable that Amcu has declared a deadlock with wage negotiations they remain hopeful of a speedy resolution.

Russell added, "Of course we are disappointed because we always want to engage meaningfully for as long as possible, but at the same time we want to be realistic."