Strike workers gather at the Drifantine gold mine.
Photo: National Union of Miners
Another wage offer was presented to striking workers at the Sibanye-Steelwater gold mines, but striking unions say the deal has not received local support.
A mass meeting convened by the unions – the Association of Miners and Builders’ Unions (AMCU) and the National Union of Miners (NUM) – took place on Friday at the Drifontein gold mine in Carltonville, Johannesburg.
Against the requirement of a wage increase of 1,000 rupees each year of the three-year agreement, the unions presented two options offered by the company and are seeking to extend the deal for up to five years.
The first proposal provides for an increase of 800 rupees for three years – as previously proposed – but now also proposes an increase of 850 rupees for the fourth year and an increase of 900 rupees for the sixth year. To these figures is added an increase in the annual subsistence allowance by Rs 50, as well as a profit-sharing scheme. Earlier on Friday, Fin24 reported that Sibanye-Stillwater had offered striking workers a 5% profit share forever in an attempt to settle a wage strike on its gold operations, which began on March 10.
The second proposal includes the same increase in subsistence allowance, an increase of Rs 800 in each of the three years, an increase of Rs 900 in the fourth year and an increase of Rs 1,000 in the fifth.
In an interview with Fin24 shortly after the mass meeting, Joseph Matunjwa of the AMCU said the proposal was unanimously rejected by votes.
The profit-sharing proposal was also not attractive. “We can talk about it on another platform, but so far they want to raise wages,” he said.
A Sibanye spokesman said the company had offered several options in hopes that it would help the parties find an agreement.
Responding to a suggestion from the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Guede Montasche that his department could revoke Sibanye’s mining rights as a result of his non-mining activities, Mathunjwa said: “He is on the right track, very late. They should just revoke this license and give it to other people. I support it. “