Gold unions reach wage settlement

Three of four unions in South Africa's gold industry have signed a two-year wage agreement with gold producers, the country's Chamber of Mines has said.

The Chamber of Mines represents AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

In a statement, chief negotiator Elize Strydom said the settlement "was reached at levels that were more than employers would have preferred".

It was signed by Solidarity, Uasa and the National Union of Mineworkers, which represent about 72 percent of workers, but not by the rebel Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which represents 19 percent of workers.

"We took the view that the agreement has helped secure stability in the industry for a two-year period. Overall, the settlement represents a reasonably balanced outcome, in the best interests of shareholders, management and employees," Strydom said.

In terms of the agreement, category four and five employees and rock drill operators would receive an eight percent increase and other employees a 7.5 percent increase from July 1.

Employees will receive a CPI-linked increase in July 2014.

The current monthly living out allowance of R1,640 would increase to R2,000 in two R180 steps, on September 1 2013, and again in 2014.

Commitments were also made on certain additional points, details of which can be found here.

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