Northam Platinum wage strike is on, says NUM

The wage strike at Northam Platinum in Limpopo continued on Monday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.

"The strike is on. Our members will march to Northam Platinum on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum of grievances to management," said spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu.

"If they do not respond to our memorandum, we will march to Anglo American headquarters on Thursday."

NUM members went on strike last Sunday at Northam Platinum's Zondereinde mine demanding an increase of R2 100 for core workers, such as rock drill operators, and R2 000 for non-core workers.

The union rejected a revised wage offer by Northam Platinum on Thursday.

The company tabled a revised offer on Tuesday. It offered non-core category two to eight employees 7.5% increases, and core employees in the same categories 8.5% increases.

Demands 'presented by the workers'
In categories nine and 10, the company revised its offer to 7% for non-core workers and 7.5% for core workers, and the living-out allowance to 7%.

The company was proposing a two-year wage agreement, which NUM chief negotiator Ecliff Tantsi said workers were opposed to.

"Our members are further demanding that the employer must respond to the demands that are presented by the workers," he said.

He said workers were prepared to consider a staggered offer if the company could not meet its demand for a R2 100 increase for core workers and a R2 000 increase for non-core workers.

"Our members are also opposed to the implementation date of the wage agreement from August 1, that the company is offering, and are in favour of July 1," said Tantsi. "Our members have warned that it is non-negotiable."

Rejected latest pay offer
Northam Platinum said it was ready for further talks with the NUM after the union rejected its latest pay offer.

"The management of the Zondereinde division of Northam has been advised by the NUM that the strike at the mine will continue," it said in a statement.

"Management at Zondereinde has indicated that it is willing to have further discussions in an attempt to resolve the current impasse." – Sapa

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