Gold pay deal signed
The Chamber of Mines confirmed a pay agreement between three unions and three gold mining companies yesterday.
"The Chamber of Mines, representing AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony, together with the [National Union of Mineworkers], Solidarity and Uasa, today signed an agreement to give effect to clause 11 of the 2011-2013 chamber gold wage agreement," it said.
This was not a revision of the existing deal, but addressed the pay and grades of certain categories of workers.
The agreement meant that category three employees would all be placed in the higher category four, which would now be the entry level for the companies.
Salaries of the category four to eight employees would be raised by between 1.5% and 2%.
A new operator level for loader, locomotive, winch and water jet operators would be created within category four and their basic rates would be adjusted by between R250 and R400 a month.
Rock-drill operators would either have their basic rates adjusted by R500 or receive an allowance of R400.
All the adjustments were in addition to the salary increases, which took effect on July 1. The adjustments ranged from 8.5% to 10%.
"Stability in the gold mining industry has been achieved at many of the operations and there are hopes this trend will continue," said Elize Strydom, senior executive of employment relations at the chamber.
"The safe resumption of normal mining operations is now top priority."
Strydom said the unprotected industrial action had had a negative impact on the gold mining industry, the country's economy, and on the employees themselves, who had forfeited millions of rands in lost earnings.
"The gold companies and the unions are determined collectively to chart a way forward for the industry that will strengthen the structures of collective bargaining and avoid a repetition of recent events," said Strydom.
The parties reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the safety of employees and protecting them from acts of violence and intimidation, she said.
The NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said: "We are feeling very good about it. We expect that everybody else in the gold sector will return."