Numsa back on job after Amplats deal

By Time of article published Mar 24, 2014

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Nompumelelo Magwaza

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) had accepted a wage offer from Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the company said last week.

The offer was also accepted by Uasa and would be applied to all employees in the Numsa bargaining unit.

The agreement will give wage increases of up to 8.5 percent to Numsa members ending a six-week strike. It is believed that the union represents about 2 500 workers at Amplats, most of whom work at the company’s smelter.

“The agreement stipulates wages and other conditions of employment for operational employees for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015,” the platinum producer said.

It equated to an 8.5 percent a year wage increase for A and B2 employees, 8 percent for B3 to B7 employees, and 7.5 percent for C to D1 employees.

Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith said: “We are delighted that Numsa has accepted our offer and realised that we have provided a fair and reasonable offer to our employees within our financial constraints.

“We would like to acknowledge the contribution and support of our stakeholders, government, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and Numsa, for all working together to enable us to settle this wage agreement, which allows us to continue to build a sustainable company for the future,” Griffith said.

Workers returned to work on Thursday for night shift.

Amplats added that negotiations with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), whose members went on strike on January 23, were working towards a solution that was affordable and satisfied all stakeholders.

Amcu is demanding a minimum monthly salary of R12 500. The mining companies – Impala Platinum, Lonmin and Amplats – have offered staggered increases of 7 percent to 9 percent for different employment grades over the next three years.

Amcu has revised its demand, saying that the R12 500 minimum could be achieved over four years.

However, the platinum producers have rejected the revised demand. The CCMA suspended talks on March 5 because the producers and Amcu remained far apart.

It is believed that the strike has cost producers more than R8 billion in earnings and that striking workers have forgone R3.6 billion in wages.

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