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Unions reject 'pittance' offer

By Kea' Modimoeng | Jun 04, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Chamber of Mines has offered a sixpercent wage increase for the gold sector.

This comes after the mining companies' federation offered a fivepercent increasetwo weeks ago.

The unions - the National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity - are demanding a 15percent wage increase across the board.

Spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers Lesiba Seshoka said a strike was "on the horizon".

He said: "We are disappointed at the Chamber of Mines' pittance offer of a six percent increase."

Andrew Levy, owner of labour law firm Andrew Levy & Associates, said the negotiations were one step closer to a dispute.

He said if the union was not prepared to move its demand from 15percent then this might result in a "long and prolonged strike".

"Let's hope that good sense and calm will prevail in the upcoming negotiations, as I think any offer of between eight and 10percent would be reasonable," said Levy.

Jaco Kleynhans, spokesperson for Solidarity, confirmed that his union had also rejected the offer.

"Our members gave us a mandate not to accept anything less than the inflation rate," he said.

Kleynhans said that no wage dispute had been declared yet because of the upcoming negotiations.

The next round of gold sector wage negotiations will be on June 11.


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