NUM has ended the marathon and excruciating wage negotiations with Aquarius Platinum with a 3 year agreement.
It was excruciating in the sense that Aquarius Platinum is a low-grade platinum producer in South Africa. The expectations are always very high from the employees to compete with other platinum producers. It is also very difficult to negotiate under the polluted industrial environment. We had to make a hard choice for us to reach and sign this agreement.
The first option we considered as the negotiating team was to go overboard and give the company the strike and make headlines. That would have been the only achievement for cheap publicity. To us this was not an option at all.
The second option that we also considered is a compromise position that led to the signing of this agreement and for us it is a balancing act.
The details of the wage agreement are as follows:
The parties have agreed that the following increases on basic wages will be applied in the application of monthly salary increases:
Key categories (Minimum Surface, Minimum Underground, Miner Assistant, RDO, Team leader UG)
Employees above will receive 12% on year 1, 11% on year 2 and 11% on year 3
The other remaining categories ( Clerks, LCA, UV driver, LHD driver, Roof Bolter)
Employees in this category will receive 10% on year 1, 10% on year 2 and 10% on year 3
This agreement will be effective from the 1st of July 2014 to 30 June 2017
For the details of these increases see the attached document.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions