Johannesburg - Harmony Gold's management commended workers on Wednesday for maintaining peace during their strike.
“We are encouraged by the responsible and peaceful conduct of employees engaged in the strike and urge all parties to uphold the law and all agreements,” Harmony chief executive Graham Briggs said in a statement.
Workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the gold mining sector downed tools on Tuesday demanding double-digit wage increases.
The NUM represented about 70 percent of Harmony's total work force. The majority of the operations were severely affected, although all essential services personnel reported for work.
Briggs said the Kusasalethu mine near Carletonville was operating at normal levels.
“We continue to engage with all the unions to reach a wage settlement and to curtail the strike.”
Earlier, the Chamber of Mines said gold producers Evander Gold and Village Main Reef had reached an agreement with NUM.
Early settlements indicated that constructive outcomes could be reached, the chamber's chief negotiator in the gold wage talks, Elize Strydom said.
“The settlements reached by these companies are (an) eight percent increase in basic wages for category four and five employees, including rock drill operators.
“A 7.5 percent increase in basic wages for category six to eight employees, (including) miners, artisans, and officials,” Strydom said.
NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the settlements were mine-specific and did not change the dynamics of the strike in other mines.
“The workers (at Evander Gold and Village Main Reef) agreed to those terms and understand what it means for them,” Seshoka said.
He vehemently denied reports that the union was ready to settle on a 10 percent increase on wages.
“We just said we would be willing to ease our demands but it must be a double-digit increase that is worth the workers' while.
“We are still at a (wage) increase of R2300 for surface miners, and R3000 for underground miners,” he said.
Surface workers currently earn R4700 per month and underground workers earn R5000. - Sapa