Johannesburg - Unions representing workers in the coal mining sector have signed a wage deal, the Chamber of Mines said on Monday.
“After facilitation under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), unions accepted and signed the final offers tabled by coal producers,” the chamber announced in a statement.
Coal producers agreed to increase wages by at least 8.5 percent for workers in categories four and five.
“(Workers at) Anglo American Thermal Coal and Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga in categories four and five will receive a 9.5 percent increase, while workers in categories six, seven, and eight miners, artisans, and officials would receive an 8.5 percent increase.”
The chamber's chief negotiator Motsamai Mohlamme said the sustainability of the mines, depending on the size of the operations, informed the different percentages.
“We looked at how the company was structured and placed focus on the mine's affordability and sustainability... Smaller operations would not afford what larger operations could,” Motsamai said.
All companies, except for Msobo Coal, Koornfontein, and Optimum, would increase wages by a percent above the Consumer Price Index (CPI) next year, with a guaranteed minimum of eight percent. The deal was valid for two years.
“The CPI figures for the months of December 2013 to May 2014 will be examined... the months with the highest and lowest CPI will be discounted,” the chamber said.
“The resulting figure based on this formula will be deemed to be CPI for the purposes of this wage agreement.”
The coal producers represented by the chamber were Anglo American Thermal Coal, Exxaro Coal, Umsobo Coal, Kangra Coal, Delmas Coal, GlencoreXstrata which includes Optimum, Koornfontein, and former Xstrata operations.
Unions involved were the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity, and Uasa.