4 October 2012
The parties agreed on a framework that must guide our action in the discussion that have commenced between the chamber of mines and the Trade Unions.
The framework as follows;
Firstly, our actions seek to protect the legitimacy of collective bargaining and industrial relations in our country.
We fully support the discussions that started yesterday, the 03rd of October 201 between the Chamber of Mines and The Unions. We understand we will honour and respect the existing wage agreements.
This wage agreement signed on the 02nd of August 2011 gives us an opportunity to respond to the demands workers have been making recently.
In doing so, we will be guided by the difficult competitive position of the gold industry, including to the need to ensure sustainability and jobs retention.
In terms of the existing wage agreement, we have a commitment to review the appropriate entry level wages and job categories potential; essentially this means a job re-grading exercise.
This work will commence on the 09th of October 2012, and we have set a deadline to the end of October 2012 for its conclusion.
Secondly, we have endorsed the call made by COSATU recently for a Commission of Inquiry into the working and living conditions in the mining industry. We will cooperate to propose its terms of reference. It is important that this process be underpinned by independent verification to give a necessary credibility to its work and findings.
Thirdly, the parties agree to investigate different working arrangements that will improve productivity and competitive position of the industry, with associated profit share agreements for employees.
The associated benefit from this work would enhance operations, reward workers efforts, preserve jobs and extend the lives of the mines.
Lastly, we are also encouraged that the platinum sector will convene tomorrow, 05th of October 2012, to broadly consider establishment of centralised structures for the bargaining as well as other issues we are dealing with in this framework.
They have outlined clear timeframes towards the conclusion of these issues by the end of October 2012.
The Chamber of Mines believes that this framework forms a basis for a favourable consideration for workers to return to work.
The National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] will be consulting its members in this regards