The Chamber of Mines has warned that union pay demands will increase the wage bill of South Africa’s gold mines by 16.5 billion rand threatening almost all of the industry’s jobs.
The wage bill for the gold mines in 2014 was 23.5 billion rand and makes up 55 per cent of costs.
(READ MORE: The economics of S.Africa’s gold mines)
On the eighth day of negotiations, four unions are asking for pay increases of up to 100 per cent.
On Monday they rejected the gold employers’ offer of between 7.8 per cent and 12.96 per cent from the major mines, plus promises to guarantee jobs and a profit share. This morning the employers will respond to the unions.
(READ MORE: Gold mining employers under pressure to avert looming strike)
“Our offers are substantial. Even before the profit share and the social sustainability proposals, our offers at entry level far exceed inflation and settlement areas in the past 10 years. And, importantly, employees will be able to influence their companies’ profitability through their efforts, and their share in this through the gain-share. The companies have appealed to the unions to actively engage in the process of negotiations, and to take these offers to employees for serious consideration," says Elize Strydom, the chief negotiator for the employers.