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MINING: Chamber Of Mines Meets with Unions Over Clarity on Demands


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The Chamber of Mines recently met to hold its first official meeting with representatives of organized labour, the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and UASA as part of the 2011 wage negotiations process. The purpose of the meeting was to afford representatives of organized labour an opportunity to motivate and elaborate on their demands which have been tabled with the Chamber of Mines for both the gold and coal sectors. The meeting was held at the offices of the Chamber of Mines.

Dr Elize Strydom, the Chamber of Mines negotiator for the Gold Mining companies felt the meeting was very important as it provided an opportunity for the Chamber of Mines, and the companies involved in the negotiations, to hear first hand from the unions and seek clarity on some of the demands. “We have received more than 50 demands from unions this year. Some of these have very high cost implications and it was important to us that we receive clarity on them. We were particularly encouraged by comments from our labour counterparts that negotiations is a give and take process as well as their acknowledgement that any settlements have to take affordability into consideration”, said Dr Strydom.

The Chamber of Mines negotiator for the Coal Mining companies Dr Frans Barker, expressed during the meeting that he hoped that all parties had the best interests of the industry and the country at heart and that the process will continue in a spirit of openness and cooperation to ensure that an agreement is reached sooner rather than later. Dr Barker said, “We have been through this path before and while it is never easy, we have thus far managed to reach agreement. In negotiations, no party ever gets all it wants.”

Gold mining companies negotiating under the auspices of the Chamber of Mines are AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Rand Uranium while the coal mining companies are Anglo Thermal Coal SA, Delmas Coal, Exxaro, Kangra Coal, Optimum Coal and Xstrata Coal.

The Chamber of Mines will respond to the unions on behalf of the gold mining sector on Monday 20 June 2011 after the companies had studied the demands fully. On Tuesday 21 June the meeting will take place, it will be where they will be able to respond to union demands with regard to coal mining companies.


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