NUM lauds Bafokeng wage deal

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Num_congress Independent Newspapers Picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - The three-year wage settlement that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) signed with Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBP) represents a genuine victory for mineworkers, the union said on Friday.

“The negotiation took place in an atmosphere characterised by reciprocal obligation and an element of trust, respect and good faith,” said spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu in a statement.

It was done within the parameters of legislation, the Constitution, understanding socio-economic needs in the platinum industry and was mindful of transformation goals.

The agreement, signed on Thursday, is from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017 and lets the parties meet in May 2017 to review, align and extend the agreement by a further two years on pre-agreed terms.

The deal includes:

- lowest paid underground workers are to get a monthly top-up of R2000 for the first year; R2400 for the second year; and R2806

for the third year;

- the lowest paid worker would earn over R12,000 a month within this period;

- the company would pay 100 percent medical aid for the lowest paid employees and a 70 percent medical aid subsidy for supervisors;

- the company would pay a R2600-housing subsidy for the lowest paid employees in the first year; and R3900 for the third year;

- in the first year, employees would only contribute R400 towards their bond which is R3000.

- the company is building houses worth R600,000 in Rustenburg, and the bond repayment of R3000 includes rates and taxes.

Mammburu said: “The lowest paid workers will, within the next two years, have a guaranteed package of R14,594 plus bonus and overtime.

“This compares favourably with the settlement reached by some of the major platinum producers after an internecine five-month strike action.”

The company and employees would each also contribute seven percent to the pension fund and seven percent to the provident fund.

Mammburu said: “Our members informed us that the Royal Bafokeng Platinum bonus scheme is one of the best in the mining industry.

“A minimum monthly bonus for the production crew is R9000 minimum per person if the employee had worked 350 per square metre and the maximum will be R18,000 for 450 to 500 per square metres excluding their monthly salary,” he said.

“Employees working on production total including bonuses take home around R28,000 per month,” he claimed.

He said the offer was a testimony that the union's original collective bargaining strategy for a decent was still on track, with lowest paid workers benefiting the most.

RBP is owned by the Bafokeng nation and the company is based in Phokeng.

NUM members are in the majority at this mine.

There was no strike during negotiations, in contrast to a five-month strike at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin Platinum where the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union members were in the majority. - Sapa


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