South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday its members had accepted the latest pay offer from gold producers covering the next three years.
“Our members have accepted the offer,” David Sipunzi, NUM’s general secretary, told Reuters. NUM is the biggest union in the sector, representing over 50 percent of the industry’s workers.
Two smaller unions which represent mostly skilled workers have also accepted the offer.
But the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which represents close to 30 percent of workers in the sector, has not and it remained unclear if they would accept.
The offers vary from company to company but will see pay hikes on the basic wage for the lowest-paid, entry-level members of up to around 14 percent in the first year.
Including allowances, the deal ensures that entry-level, underground employees will receive guaranteed pay of between 13,728 rand and 14,611 rand per month in the third year.
This would equate to increases for the entire package by the third year of between 26.5 percent and 32 percent.
The four companies are AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Gold and Evander Gold, a unit of Pan African Resources.
They made it clear that they could not afford big hikes as they grapple with depressed prices and soaring costs in the world’s deepest mines.