Pamodzi headed for deep water

Kea Modimoeng

Kea Modimoeng

Trouble is knocking on embattled Pamodzi Gold's door again.

Just days after it was announced that the junior miner received a R200million loan deal from the Industrial Development Corporation, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is threatening strike action.

Pamodzi still needs another R200-million loan to help it stave off insolvency.

The union is demanding a 12percent wage increase for its members.

The union further demands equalisation of wages for all employees as some earn more than their colleagues.

Lesiba Seshoka, NUM spokesperson, said: "Former Jongingozi mine employees who are currently employed by Pamodzi Gold earn a minimum amount of R1089 per month while the old Pamodzi Gold employees get R1432,80.

"We demand that the company implements its equalisation promises done many months ago before moving into wage increments," said Seshoka.

The union is now waiting for a certificate of non-resolution from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, which gives them power to strike.

Bongi Radebe, investor relations manager at Pamodzi Gold, said the company intended to "normalise the situation, but from a finance point of view it is impossible at this stage."

Jabu Mabena, employee relations manager at Pamodzi Gold, said: "These wage gaps are inherited from the previous employer and we have formulated a stop gap measure of wage increases to try resolve this problem.

"What we find disappointing is that at the CCMA on the 29th of September the union shifted the goal posts by putting new demands, including a CPIX rate increase, across the board."

The company warned that if the union continued to put this pressure on, it would succumb, but this would mean that those workers' jobs would be at a financial risk.

"The question we are asking is that: should we give those workers an increase and retrench them two months down the line due to lack of funds?" Mabena said.

The company is meeting with the union later today.