Zondereinde strike: update 4

Johannesburg, Wednesday 13 November 2013. The board of Northam Platinum has taken note of a memorandum delivered by the NUM to Zondereinde management on Tuesday 12 November requesting its involvement in the wage negotiation process. The directors would like to clarify the respective roles and functions of the board and management as follows:

  • The board’s role is to provide management with a mandate in the wage negotiation process, not to get involved in the day to day management functions.
  • The board conscientiously considered all the relevant factors before having provided management with a wage negotiation mandate.
  • At all times executive management updates the board on developments at the negotiating table.

The company would like to reiterate that the union has not indicated any willingness to move from its demand for basic wage increases of R2 000 and R2 100 per month for core and non-core employees respectively, and a living out allowance of R3 718. These demands equate to wage increases of between 22% and 43% and an increase in the living out allowance of 69%. In addition to the basic wage demands above, all the other demands would have the effect of increasing the company’s wage bill by 61%.

Management has acted on the board’s mandate. The company has revised its offer three times. Given the economic conditions in the platinum industry, the current offer is the maximum the company can afford for the business to remain sustainable, and is at the top end of all other settlements in the industry to date. Furthermore, the longer the mine stands, the less affordable the offer becomes.

The NUM has continued to indicate its unwillingness to talk about percentage increases and its preference to deal with the actual quantum. The company’s offer has been presented to the NUM in both formats. For comparability purposes the company’s offer for a two year agreement is presented in the tables below in both percentage and quantum terms:

2013 (inclusive of a 0.5% service increment)
Employees Cat 2-8 Cat 9-10
Non-core 8.0% 7.5%
Core 9.0% 8.0%
LOA and hostel allowance 8.0% 7.0%
2014* (inclusive of a 0.5% service increment)
Employees Cat 2-8 Cat 9-10
Non-core 8.0% 7.5%
Core 9.0% 8.0%
LOA and hostel allowance 8.0% 7.0%

* For 2014 the higher of CPI+1 or the above

2013
Employees Cat 2-8 Cat 9-10
Non-core R500 7.5%
Core R600 8.0%
LOA and hostel allowance R175 7.0%
2014*
Employees Cat 2-8 Cat 9-10
Non-core R550 7.5%
Core R650 8.0%
LOA and hostel allowance R190 7.0%

* For 2014 the higher of CPI+1 or the above

A further meeting under the auspices of the CCMA has been scheduled for Friday 15 November 2013.

Issued by
Russell & Associates
Johannesburg
Tel +27 (0)11 880 3924