DURBAN - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said on Tuesday that it had been mandated by its members to accept a proposed settlement agreement to break a wage negotiation deadlock at Sibanye-Stillwater.
The proposal had been advanced by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), however it was rejected by Sibanye.
Workers have been striking since November 21.
The CCMA facilitated engagement between Amcu and Sibanye-Stillwater in terms of section 150 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), which was designed to break deadlocks during collective bargaining processes when there is sufficient public interest in a particular matter.
Amcu said the CCMA had proposed a payment of R5 700, coupled with other issues as contained in the previous settlement agreement. These included a salary advance of R5 000, debt consolidation, non-deductions of employer contributions to benefits, death benefits for employees who died during the strike, as well as disciplinary issues.
"While Amcu members previously indicated acceptance of the other issues covered, up to now they insisted on a payment of R9 300," said Amcu via a press release.
The union was "hopeful" its acceptance of the proposal would signal a speedy resolution to the wage dispute, it said.
"Amcu leaders conducted mass meetings on Friday and at these meetings members accepted the proposed settlement by the CCMA in broad terms, before mandating the negotiating team to engage further with Sibanye-Stillwater on the implementation and method of payment, as well as the issue of back-pay.
"At the meeting facilitated by the CCMA [on Monday], Amcu communicated its in-principle acceptance of the proposed settlement, emphasising that the R5 700 should be split over two of the wage agreement terms, which is three years in total, as well as back-pay for the first year of the term.
"Even though Sibanye-Stillwater did not accept the proposal by the CCMA, Amcu remains positive that this will create the necessary momentum to see a speedy resolution to the wage dispute," said the union.
African News Agency (ANA)