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Sibanye-Stillwater rejects unions’ wage increase counter-offer as talks hit yet another deadlock

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Striking Sibanye-Stillwater gold mineworkers have camped on the lawns of the Union Buildings for three weeks.
Striking Sibanye-Stillwater gold mineworkers have camped on the lawns of the Union Buildings for three weeks.
Image: Alaister Russell

A counter-offer tabled by the two unions representing workers at the Sibanye-Stillwater gold mines was rejected on Monday evening as wage talks hit another stalemate.

The two unions, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), who had earlier on Monday rejected a new offer in the negotiations facilitated by the commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, had put forward a counter-offer.

The counter-offer would have seen workers get a R800 increase in the first year, a R3,000 one-off payment and 5% rise for officials and artisans.

Sibanye-Stillwater had proposed a R700 increase, R3,000 one-off payment and a 5% increase for officials and artisans.

For the second and third year Sibanye-Stillwater offered R1,000 and R900 increases respectively and a 5% increase for the other employee categories, while the unions’ counter-offer is for a 5.5% increase for the other categories in both the second and third years of the suggested multiyear wage increase deal.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu confirmed that Sibanye-Stillwater rejected the offer about 10pm on Monday, which led to negotiations hitting a deadlock.

“We will meet Sibanye-Stillwater again this morning (Tuesday) but this will be about agreeing on a way forward as these negotiations have deadlocked,” Mammburu said.

The talks started on Thursday last week after Sibanye-Stillwater called on the CCMA to intervene in the dispute in terms of section 150 of the Labour Relations Act.

Mineworkers downed tools in March after a deadlock regarding wage increases, leading to the shutdown of mining operations at Sibanye-Stillwater gold mines with striking workers now going three months without salaries.

More than 2,000 striking workers have taken their wage increase dispute to the seat of government, camping outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria and demanding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s intervention.


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