South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers is to ask the Chamber of Mines for a 14% wage hike as official talks began between between the two parties this week. This is part of the 2011 wage negation process.
The Chamber of Mines is to represent the major gold mining firms such as Anglogold Ashanti, Harmony Gold and Goldfields as well as major collieries like Anglocoal, and Kangra amongst others.
The National union of Minerworkers has representation of 140,000 plus workers in the goal and coal mines. The general secretary Frans Baleni said that the increased wage rate was reasonable as headline inflation was about 45 with fuel and food inflammation making up the rest. He added that they were hopeful that the Chamber of Mines would accede to their reasonable demands and that there would be no room for confrontation.
Companies in South Africa have said that the unions have demanded way over the official inflation rate of 4.2% reported in April this year. They have told the unions that they cannot afford raises. Union workers are however keen to get a fair share of the expanding profits from global commodity prices. The Chamber of Mines will respond on behalf of the major gold mining companies to the union next Tuesday.