19 September 2012

South Africa: Lonmin, Unions Sign Wage Increase Agreement

While miners at Lonmin secured a 22 percent pay rise, the settlement does not resolve lingering questions about union rivalry at the heart of the ... ( Resource: South Africa: Despite Lonmin Deal Inequalities Remain )

Pretoria — Lonmin Platinum mine and union representatives on Tuesday signed a wage increase, bringing to an end the six-week strike that left 44 people dead.

The miners are expected to return to work tomorrow. In terms of the agreement, the lowest worker would earn R9 611 and the highest R13 022 before deductions and the agreement is effective from 1 October 2012. Also as part of the agreement, all workers will receive a once-off R2 000 bonus.

Rock drill operators will now earn R11 078, production team leaders R13 022 and operators R9 883. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the Department of Labour have been trying to assist the parties during the negotiations.

North West Premier Thandi Modise has welcomed the wage settlement agreement reached between Lonmin and Marikana mineworkers.

"Beyond the wage settlement, parties have a responsibility to rebuild trust among themselves so that the healing process assists in bringing closure to a tragic chapter in the history of wage negotiations in the mining sector.

"We should never ever again be in a situation where all of us emerge as losers," Modise said.

She urged workers to reorganise themselves within union structures for collective bargaining and thanked the South African Council of Churches and traditional leaders for playing a significant role in resolving the conflict through mediation.

Modise said that for its part, the province would continue engaging the relevant national government departments and mining houses on the issue of implementing Social Labour Plans and decent housing in the sector.

She also appealed for calm and cessation of hostilities at other mines in the province and for engagements within the framework of the Labour Relations Act to be speeded up to avoid further violent confrontations.

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