Salary negotiations in the gold sector started today and, as has become practice, trade unions used the first day to motivate their wage demands.
According to Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis, Solidarity’s position is that salary increases and mining productivity must go hand in hand to create a win-win situation. “The sale of AngloGold Ashanti’s mines to, among others, Harmony Gold and Village Main Reef has resulted in increased productivity at these mines which can be attributed to a changing production method which is being followed under supervision of the new management,” Du Plessis said.
Du Plessis furthermore says a balance has to be struck in terms of which employees receive decent increases which will have a positive impact on worker loyalty and which, in turn, will lead to increased production if correct production processes are followed. “Healthy labour relations also constitute an important element in ensuring that mining teams work together in harmonious cohesion,” Du Plessis said.
Solidarity further emphasised that all role players will have to realise that salary negotiations, the finalisation of the Mining Charter, and the work of the newly established multi-stakeholder Growth and Competitive Task Team functioning under the auspices of the Department of Mineral Resources, all form part of the same process to get mining back on the winning track. “Therefore, the respective players should not work in isolation of one another. There has to be a synergy between processes,” Du Plessis summarised.
Negotiations resume on Wednesday 18 July 2018 when the Minerals Council will make its opening offer to trade unions.