/ 14 July 2009

Union optimistic about 2010 wage talks

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is ”optimistic” about Tuesday’s talks to end the strike in the construction sector.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said the parties were ”very close” to reaching agreement.

”The ball is in the employer’s court and if they play ball we’ll have an agreement; we’ll sign,” Seshoka said.

”So long as there is no resolution, the strike continues.

”But our workers are saying that if certain conditions are met at Tuesday’s meeting, they’ll want the deal to be signed.”

The NUM, the Building Construction and Allied Workers’ Union and the SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) will meet on Tuesday at 10am for further talks.

The strike, which began last Wednesday, has affected major construction projects throughout South Africa, including Soccer World Cup projects.

NUM had initially demanded a wage increase of 13% and the employer body offered 10,4%.

Safcec had since increased its offer to 11,5%. – Sapa