South Africa’s Coal Unions Declare a Dispute

NUM, Solidarity and UASA declared a dispute with the Chamber of Mines on the third round of coal mining wage negotiations held at the Chamber of Mines offices in Johannesburg during mid-July. Eric Nwedo, the chamber’s negotiator for coal, indicated that the Unions’ demands, put together, still have significant cost implications for the companies. “We have made significant offers to address the total package of demands,” Nwedo said. “However, there were several other demands that the industry was unable to meet due to the cost implications, including higher contributions to retirement funds, funeral cover, service increment, roll-up of job categories, etc. In spite of this, we made a revised wage offer of 7.25% for all employees. We remain committed to finding solutions to these issues together with the Unions and hope to make progress as quickly as possible.” All parties were awaiting the appointment of a CCMA mediator to assist in finding agreement.