South Africa’s South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday it had signed a two-year wage agreement with junior gold producer Village Main Reef.
In a statement, NUM said the deal included an across-the-board increase of 1,000 rand ($79) for all underground employees and 800 rand for surface employees.
“We hope that the offer tabled by Village Main Reef is going to put more pressure on bigger gold mining companies to try and match the monetary value of the basic wage increase,” NUM General Secretary David Sipunzi said in a statement.
Gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold and Sibanye Gold, together with smaller firms including Village Main Reef, are in tough wage negotiations with unions who are demanding wage hikes of up to more than 100 percent.
Producers last month proposed increases of up to 13 percent for the lowest paid workers and offered artisans and other categories 4.5 percent to 6 percent wage increases to cover a five-year period.
NUM, the sector’s biggest union, wants around 80 percent for its lowest-paid members while rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, wants the basic pay for entry level workers to be more than doubled to a monthly wage of 12,500 rand.
($1 = 12.6102 rand)