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UASA negotiates higher minimum wages for mine workers

The trade union UASA is pleased to contribute further to the well-being of workers and their families by successfully addressing the minimum wage issue in the mining industry.

After continued negotiations for the 2011 – 2013 Chamber Gold Wage Agreement, UASA, together with NUM and Solidarity, entered into an agreement with the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, representing AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony for the increase of basic rates varying from 1.5% to 2% with immediate effect.

AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields will increase the monthly basic rates for Category 3 to 8 employees by 2%, while Harmony agreed to increase the monthly basic rates for Category 3 to 8 employees by 1.5%.

In addition to the wage adjustments to all Category 3 underground employees will be rolled-up to Category 4, meaning that the minimum basic rate for Category 4 underground employees, with the exception of novices, will be increased to R5 000 per month, inclusive of the wage adjustments.

The starting rate for underground novices who are recruited after the conclusion of this agreement, will be R4 840 per month for a maximum period of 12 months from the date of employment, where after their wages will be increased to the minimum basic rate of R5 000 per month.

All Category 3 surface employees will be rolled-up to Category 4.

The minimum basic rate for Category 4 surface employees, with the exception of novices, will be increased to R4 350 per month, inclusive of the wage adjustments.

The starting rate for surface novices recruited after the conclusion of this agreement will be R4 235 per month for a maximum period of 12 months from the date of employment, where after their wages will be increased to the minimum basic rate of R4 350 per month.

In terms of Category 4 loader, locomotive, winch and water jet operators, it was agreed that the mines will create a new operator level within Category 4.

AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields agreed to increase the basic rate of these employees by R400 per month to an amount of R5 400 per month, while Harmony will increase the basic rate of these employees by R250 per month to an amount of R5 250 per month, inclusive of the wage adjustment.

The basic rate of rock drill operators will increase the basic rate of these employees by R 500 per month at AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields, while Harmony will pay the rock drill operators a R400 monthly allowance, in addition to the wage adjustment.

AngloGold Ashanti agreed to increase the basic rates of Monthly Paid B-Band Officials in the same way as Category 3 to 8 employees, while Gold Fields has agreed that B-Band Officials whose wages do not exceed those of Category 3 to 8 employees, will receive the increase to basic rates in the same way as Category 3 to 8 employees. Harmony stated that B-Band Officials classified as “Monthly Paid” will receive the increases to basic rates and will be treated in the same way as Category 3 to 8 employees.

We are pleased  that we could finalise this item which has been outstanding on the 2011-2013 wage agreement. Although not ideal, the lower category workers will now find some relief to meet the demands of the ever-increasing cost of living, says Franz Stehring, Divisional manager of the trade union UASA, responsible for its members in the mining industries.