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Miners ponder offer

Friday, October 05, 2012    

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Major gold miners and unions in South Africa will review wages and pay grades for entry-level workers after reaching an agreement late yesterday, they said in a joint statement.

"In terms of the existing wage agreement, we have a commitment to review the appropriate entry-level wages and job categories potential," said Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the powerful union federation Cosatu, reading out the statement.

"Essentially, this means a job re-group exercise," Vavi told reporters after a meeting between mining executives and unions at the country's Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg.

The agreement comes amid spreading wildcat strikes from platinum to gold mining and other sectors in the past months that called into question the legitimacy of the labour movement.

The country's gold mines and unions have a collective bargaining system, but workers at individual mines have rejected the model and their traditional unions, calling for aggressive wage increases.

The unions' meeting with mine bosses agreed to keep intact existing wage deals, but discussions on different terms for entry-level jobs will start October 9, to be completed by the end of the month.

Labour unrest in the vital mining sector in South Africa has spiralled out of a deadly six-week stand-off at Lonmin's platinum mine near Rustenburg, which left 46 people dead, to other platinum and gold producers.

— AFP

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