Double-digit wage talks

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

The mining sector is bracing itself for a wage negotiation marathon as unions table double-digit demands.

The Chamber of Mines, which negotiates on behalf of its gold and coal producing employers, is expecting the Cosatu-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers to submit a list of formal wage demands this month.

Platinum mining companies, on the other hand, hold separate individual negotiations with the respective unions.

Anglo Platinum, the world's largest primary producer of platinum, has already started wage negotiations with unions.

The rise in basic needs such as food and petrol on the one hand, and the boom in mining production and prices on the other, mean negotiations still have a long way to go.

NUM has already asked for a 15percent pay increase from the platinum producer. Solidarity's demand stands at 18percent. Anglo Platinum had initially offered 5percent, but revised it to 6percent.

Simon Tebele, Anglo Platinum's spokesman, said: "The unions are demanding between 15percent and 18percent and the company has made a revised offer of 6percent.

"The unions are consulting their members," Tebele said.