Kumba open to talks to avert pay strike

South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore said on Monday it was willing to hold fresh talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which plans to a strike next week after pay-rise talks collapsed.

The NUM said earlier on Monday that more than 6 000 workers at Kumba, a unit of global miner Anglo American, would go on strike after rejecting the company’s offer of wage increases between 7% and 9,5% on a two-year deal, depending on the worker’s category.

The NUM is demanding pay rises of between 7,5% and 10% on a one-year deal.

“Our doors are always open for discussions,” Kumba spokesperson Gert Schoeman said when asked if the company would seek fresh talks to avert a strike.

South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy, has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats, which have led to pay settlements well above inflation — at 3,7% in July — and raised fears that the cost of living will rise.

“The decision to go on strike has been taken at Kumba, and a seven-day notice was served that the strike would begin next Monday,” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.

But Schoeman said Kumba, the 10th-largest global iron ore producer, had not received a formal notice from the NUM.

The union said it would press ahead with strike plans despite a possibility of new wage negotiations.

“A strike cannot be averted on the basis that there may be talks. We cannot rely on just an indication,” Seshoka said.

The union said last week the strike would affect Kumba’s Sishen, Kolomela and Thabazimbi operations.

Meanwhile, a strike at Northam Platinum entered its fourth week after the workers rejected the company’s revised wage offer last week, the union said.

About 80% of Northam’s 6 800 employees at its Zondereinde mine in South Africa have been on strike since September 5, shutting the entire operation and costing Northam 1 000 ounces per day in lost production of Platinum Group Metals.

Northam, one of South Africa’s smaller platinum producers, raised its offer to 9% last week from 8,5%, below NUM’s demand of a 15% increment. — Reuters

Advertisting

Cradock Four back to haunt De Klerk

Pressure is mounting on the NPA to charge the former president and others involved in political killings during apartheid

Ramaphosa makes peace with Malema over gender-based violence comments

In his Sona response, the president apologised for the weaponising of gender-based violence, saying the attack on the red beret leader was "uncalled for"

Steenhuisen takes the lead in DA race while Ntuli falters

‘If you want a guarantee buy a toaster. This is politics’
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it