Harmony Gold's offer splits unions

Mining companies have offered a R1,000 pay hike per year, but Harmony is only offering R500.

Inside one of the tunnels of Harmony Gold's Doornkop shaft. Picture: Harmony Gold

JOHANNESBURG - While mining unions are divided on the final offer in the ongoing gold wage negotiations, Association for Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has slated Harmony Gold saying it is the main reason workers have rejected the offer.

Anglo Gold Ashanti, Sibanye and Evander Gold Mines have all offered a R1,000 salary hike each year over a three year period, but Harmony has only offered R500.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Amcu say the offer is not good enough, but Solidarity says it will advise its members to accept it to avoid a strike.

Amcu Spokesperson Manzini Zungu says if the companies' offers were consistent, workers might have accepted them.

"The rest are giving R1,000 so Harmony start by R500 and they are coming in to this final offer with people who are thinking of their workers. Harmony messed this up."

In earlier reports, gold companies said they could not afford Amcu's demand for an increase of more than double in wages as they battle falling prices and rising costs.

The union is expected to meet with the Chamber of Mines on Tuesday to officially reject what the gold companies are calling a final offer.