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AMCU signs three-year wage deal with Lonmin

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Monday assured that there would be no strike action at Lonmin’s Rustenburg operations after the parties reached a wage deal.

Addressing media at a joint briefing, in Sandton, ahead of signing the deal, the union and the platinum producer said a three-year wage deal had been reached after months of “intense” negotiations, which also saw the union ink separate agreements with Impala Platinum (Implats) and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

The wage negotiations between AMCU and the platinumproducers started in July, with no immediate consensus, sparking fears of months of wage protests similar to that which paralysed the platinum industry two years ago.

The three individual deals with Lonmin, Implats and Amplats will see workers’ basic salary rise by R1 000, or 7%, said AMCU treasurer Jimmy Gama.

The agreement, which is backdated to July 1 and will expire on June 30, 2019, applies to all Lonmin employees within the bargaining unit in job grades Paterson A4 to C4.

The company’s C4 to 9 employees will receive the greater of a R1 000 or 7% increase a year on basic salary, while officials in the B and C band will receive a 7% a year increase on the total cost to company.

“The impact of the wage agreement for this bargaining unit is an increase of 7.8% in financial year one, 8% in financial year two and 7.1% in financial year three or an average of 7.6% over the three-year period,” Lonmin pointed out.

While the living-out, or housing; medical; and other, allowances, will differ from company to company, Lonmincommitted to living-out allowance increases of R100 a year, with the holiday leave allowance calculated off normal basic wages from the second year and an estimated increase in medical aid contributions of 13.5%.

Meanwhile, rock-drill operators’ (RDO’s) allowances will increase by 6% a year, with Lonmin pointing out that, by the end of the wage agreement, an RDO at Lonmin will earn a basic salary of R12 296 and a guaranteed package of R19 455.

“We have all worked hard to engage each other honestly and respectfully since the long strike of 2014,” said Lonmin CEO Ben Magara, pointing to the growing maturity of the nature of the negotiations and the relationship between the company, employees and their union representatives over the past few years.

AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa welcomed the successful conclusion of the wage negotiations, stating the union would now turn its full focus to health and safety and saving jobs in the industry. 

 

Source: Mining Weekly