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Business: Solidarity and Simmers in CCMA Dispute

 





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Wage negotiations at the mining company Simmer and Jack reached a deadlock earlier this week at the group’s Buffelsfontein mine outside Stilfontein and a dispute has been declared, the trade union Solidarity said today. The trade union brought an application for mediation at the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration’s (CCMA) offices in Klerksdorp yesterday.

Wage negotiations at the company started in March and after four rounds of negotiations Solidarity is now insisting on a wage increase of consumer price inflation plus 2%, at a minimum of 10%, while the company is still only offering an increase of 8%.

Solidarity initially demanded an increase of 15%, while the employer started negotiations with an offer of 5%.

Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans says that the employer’s final offer is actually a slap in the face of the company’s skilled employees. “After Simmer and Jack had taken over the liquidated DRD Gold Mine in 2005, employees at Buffelsfontein agreed with management to take a 20% cut in their total packages. This means that the mine is still remunerating their employees at far below the industry norm and therefore an increase of 8% cannot be accepted,” Kleynhans said.

The wage agreement must be implemented retrospectively from 1 January this year. Simmer and Jack hopes, however, to change the one-year agreement to a two-year agreement and then plans to implement the agreement from 1 January this year to 31 March 2011. Solidarity is, however, not open to this idea and has stated that a two-year agreement will not currently be in the employees’ best interest.


 
 
 
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