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Business: Solidarity Rejects Chamber’s Salary Offer in Coal Sector


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During today’s negotiations, the Chamber stated that the offer was a good one and that it would not be easily improved. The Chamber also argued that the world’s financial position had led to the collapse of the coal market and that the offer was the best that the companies could make.

Solidariteit asserted, however, that various companies, including Exxaro, AngloCoal and Xstrata, do in fact have the necessary funds to pay their employees a living wage. In addition, Solidarity presented an analysis of these companies’ 2008 financial results to the Chamber.

According to Gideon du Plessis, head of Solidarity’s Labour Relations, the Chamber is employing bluffing tactics regarding the pressure of their economic circumstances while Solidarity’s financial analyses have shown that these companies are prospering.

Exxaro’s profit rose by 36% to R38,8 billion. Operational profit is up by 71% to R2,4 billion and the profit after tax is up 134% to R3,3 billion. In addition, the headline earnings rose by 151% to R3,6 billion. Exxaro’s total coal profit increased by 78%, from R5 087 million to R9 040 million. The net profit climbed by 200%, from R885 million to R2 467 million.

Anglo Coal’s gross profit (EBITDA) is 193% higher, from $882 million to $2 585 million. The operational profit rose by 265%, from $614 million to $2 240 million. In addition, the operational profit of Anglo Coal in South Africa grew by 78%, from $414 million to $736 million.

Xstrata’s total coal profit increased by 89%, from $4 201 million to $7 944 million. The gross profit (EBITDA) grew by 251% from $1 191 million to $4 181 million. The operational profit (EBIT) rose by 418%, from $687 million to $3 557 million.

“The Chamber’s memory is short and they are forgetting that two years ago Solidarity members went on strike for three days over scarce and critical skills in the coal industry. The Chamber apparently thinks that the issue will simply disappear. However, they are severely mistaken. The companies have made more than enough money in the past year and it is a disgrace that they do not want to invest in the future of their employees. Solidarity rejects the offer,” Du Plessis warned.

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