Northam receives strike notice from the NUM

Johannesburg, 31 October 2013. The management of the Zondereinde division of Northam advises that it has been served with a notice to strike by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) after the NUM rejected the company’s revised wage offer during a two-day facilitation process earlier this week.

The facilitation process followed on from the parties’ failure to reach agreement on wage increases and other issues for the 2014 financial year at the talks held on Friday 25 October 2013 under the auspices of the CCMA. The company tabled an improved offer, with increases ranging from 7.0% and 8% for the first year, and between 7.0% and 7.5% for year 2, or CPI +1%, whichever is the higher. The previous offers tabled ranged from 6.5% to 7.5% and 6.5% to 7%, or CPI +1%.

Northam has not been advised of any change in the demands of the NUM, which include, among other things:

  • No multi-year wage deal
  • Distinction between core (production employees) and non-core employees
  • The demand for non-core employees is an increase of R2 000 on basic wages (equivalent to 22% - 42% at the lowest levels)
  • The demand for core employees is an increase of R2 100 on basic wages (equivalent to 23% - 43% at the lowest level)
  • The living out allowance to be increased by 69% from R2 200 to R3 718 monthly.

Combined the NUM demands equate to an average increase of 61%.

The company’s revised offer would add approximately R117.3 million to the current annual wage bill of R1.3 billion.

The strike is expected to begin with effect from the night shift on Sunday 3 November 2013, should the parties not be able to reach an agreement within the next 48 hours.

General manager Danny Gonsalves noted that management will continue to seek to engage with the union in a constructive manner to achieve an outcome which is acceptable to both parties, and ultimately to ensure the sustainability of the operation – and jobs – in the long term.

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