South Africa: Sibanye Gold Strike Finally Ends, Eyes Turn to PGM Wage Talks

analysis

The strike at Sibanye-Stillwater's gold operations finally ended after a marathon round of talks that extended late into the night on 10 June. Attention now turns to wage talks at the company's cash-spinning platinum group metals mines.

A week after a broad agreement appeared to have been reached, the deal was finally clinched late on Friday, 10 June, after Sibanye agreed to extend a one-off hardship payment of R3,000 to the lowest-paid miners to artisans and other more skilled and high-paid categories. Thus ends a three-month strike led by Numcu -- the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

To wit, the agreement will be for three years effective from 1 July. The lowest-paid part of the workforce -- known as Category 4 to 8 employees -- will get a pay hike of R1,000 a month in the first year, R900 a month in the second, and R750 a month in the third. In percentage terms, in the first year the increase is 7.7% and 5.2% in the third.

Miners, artisans and officials will get 5% raises in years one and three and, in the second, roughly the same increase depending on the...

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