Gold companies head to CCMA to resolve dispute

Gold companies declared a dispute with trade union Solidarity over a wage agreement.

FILE. Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine. Picture: Harmony Gold.

JOHANNESBURG - Gold companies represented by the Chamber of Mines have declared a dispute with trade union Solidarity and have decided to refer the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for mediation.

These companies include Anglo Gold Ashanti, Evander Gold Mines Harmony and Sibanye Gold.

All four unions, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) rejected the final offer made by the companies last month, and responded with a number of counter demands.

But this week, Solidarity, which is one of the smaller unions at the gold companies, said it would accept the offer under duress to avoid job cuts.

But Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Dr Elize Strydom said the final offer was made on the condition that it was accepted by all four unions.

"The chamber made a final offer to all four trade unions and the condition to the final offer was that it had to be accepted by all four unions. On 13 August the NUM and Amcu rejected this final offer."