An original offer of 6% put forward by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, representing coal companies, was vehemently rejected by the National Union of Mineworkers and the National Union of Solidarity. The unions have been calling for 15% and 20%, respectively.
Besides a 7% pay increase, the companies have also made several other offers including:
A minimum of R3000 ($US429) per month for underground workers in most companies;
Additional two days paid family responsibility leave for all categories of employees, bringing the total number of paid family responsibility leave to five;
Sick leave to be standardised at 84 paid days over a two-year cycle; and
A minimum medical incapacity benefit of R10,000 ($US1432).
“We hope that our offer will be seen by the union representatives as constructive engagement and a real commitment to make progress in these negotiations as quickly as possible. However, there are still some demands on the table that have significant cost implications,” Chamber negotiator Eric Nwedo said.
The next round of negotiations for the coal mining sector will take place on July 12.
The Chamber of Mines is bargaining on behalf of Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Exxaro Resources and Xstrata.