Stadium workers can smile again

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday reached an agreement on wages for workers at Nelspruit's Mbombela 2010 Soccer Stadium.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitated negotiations between the union, employers and the local municipality, in its capacity to intervene in matters of national importance.

Bheki Ngcobo, the NUM's construction co-ordinator, said workers had agreed to a R2,11 per hour increase in wages as per construction sector rates for the lowest paid workers, which would be backdated from the February 1.

Ngcobo said the union's members had disputed with the Mbombela Stadium Joint Venture on payment for the lowest paid workers to be from R10 as per Gauteng applicable rates.

Workers wanted civil engineering applicable rates and will now earn R12,11 an hour.

"It was also agreed that workers who refused to work overtime last week would not be dismissed, but would be handed warning letters," said Ngcobo.

"This is a great achievement for our workers, which is in addition to the December agreement of a R6000 project bonus phase payment to be completed by May 2009 - which is also the expected completion of the stadium. Our members received R2000 in December and are expecting a R1500 bonus payment in June.

"We are grateful for the CCMA and other parties' intervention in resolving the dispute," he said.