Striking workers gather at the Driefontein gold mine.
Photo: National Union of Miners
Another wage offer has been presented to strikers at the Sibanye-Stillwater gold mining operation, but striking unions say the deal has received no support on the ground.
A mass meeting called by the unions – the Association of Miners and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Miners (NUM) – was held on Friday at the mining company’s Driefontein gold mine in Carletonville, Johannesburg.
Against a wage demand for a R1,000 increase each year from a three-year deal, the unions presented two options that had been put forward by the company and are seeking to extend the deal to five years.
The first offer is for increases of R800 for three years – as was the case before – but now also offers an increase of R850 in the fourth year and an increase of R900 in the sixth year. Added to these figures is a R50 increase in living allowance each year, as well as a profit sharing scheme. Earlier on Friday, Fin24 reported that Sibanye-Stillwater had offered strikers 5% profit sharing in perpetuity in a bid to settle a pay strike at its gold operations that began on March 10.
The second offer includes the same increase in housing allowance, increases of R800 in each of the three years, an increase of R900 in the fourth year and an increase of R1,000 in the fifth.
Speaking to Fin24 shortly after the end of the mass meeting, AMCU’s Joseph Mathunjwa said the offer was unanimously rejected by the vocal crowd.
The profit sharing proposal was also not attractive. “We can talk about it on another platform, but right now they want a raise in their salaries,” he said.
A spokesperson for Sibanye said the company offered several options in hopes of helping the parties reach an agreement.
Reacting to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s suggestion that his department could revoke Sibanye’s mining rights due to its inability to continue mining activities, Mathunjwa said: “He is on the right track. way, it’s very late. They should just revoke that license. and give it to other people. I support him.