Today's Labour News

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handshake thumb medium90 90BusinessLive reports that five-year wage agreements in the mining sector have found favour with trade unions and mining houses, bringing about stability to a sector with a history of hostile industrial relations.

Petra Diamonds and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) this week became the latest entities to sign a five-year wage agreement. Richard Duffy, CEO of Petra, said the agreement allowed for “continued certainty on fixed labour costs at our SA operations and enables us to renew our focus on operational delivery”. Despite NUM chief negotiator Masibulele Naki describing the negotiations as robust and difficult, he emphasised its importance in sustaining jobs and keeping workers happy. Sibanye-Stillwater in November concluded a five-year wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and NUM at its Kroondal platinum group metals (PGM) operations. Sibanye’s James Wellsted said the trend towards five-year agreements showed that engagements between the unions and companies had matured and there seemed to be a better appreciation of the mutual requirements from the parties. Pan African Resources last week struck a five-year wage deal with NUM for its Barberton mines operation. SA’s biggest gold producer by volume, Harmony Gold, earlier this year signed a five-year agreement with all labour unions operating at its mines, the first time the company has done so in its 73-year history. NUM spokesperson Luphert Chilwane said the unions were seeking five-year wage agreements to protect workers against increases in the cost of living.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Noxolo Majavu at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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