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Press Statement, 26 August 2020
NUM DECLARES A WAGE DISPUTE WITH KUMBA IRON ORE
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has declared a wage dispute with Kumba Iron Ore at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
The parties met at the CCMA in Kuruman on the 20th of August 2020.
The NUM demands that the company should offer a wage increment of 8% for the lowest-paid workers and 6,5% for the highest-paid workers. The NUM and the company are in agreement when it comes to wage increases.
The only issue that has stood on the way of the parties signing the agreement is management’s demand. For the past donkey years, the company policy on sick leave provides workers with 120 days. To our dismay, in a round of negotiations, the company wants to do away with the benefit and condition of employment that workers are used to for all these years just like that.
Attempts to convince the company to deal with the issue differently were not successful and that makes the issue; the only stumbling block to signing off the wage agreement. We are very disappointed with the unreasonable and selfish posture. Our view is that as parties we should sign off the agreement and deal with the company demand in a separate process like we have conceded with some of our demands. In actual fact, we feel that this is unfair to us as workers that for us to get better salaries and conditions of employment we must give away what we already have. This is the perpetual exploitation of workers and the poor. It seems the battle line has been drawn. The NUM remains unshaken and we will fight for our members' demands to the bitter end.
"NUM is ready to find an amicable solution to end the dispute. Attempts to pursue the company to consider conceding to our demands while we were still on the table failed; unfortunately, we reached a dispute without any better offer," said Mpho Phakedi, NUM Treasurer General and Chief Negotiator at Kumba Iron Ore.
"At the CCMA level once again we made a lot of compromises on the majority of issues including wage increase; housing and even giving away some of the demands such as increase on the retirement fund and conceding to their wish of three years agreement. With all those efforts and concessions the stubborn Iron Ore Giant continued to refuse to play their part. We are very disappointed that the company put its selfish interest first more than the thousands of workers who are exploited on a daily basis by the same company," Phakedi concluded.
For more information, please contact
Mpho Phakedi, NUM Treasurer General and Chief Negotiator at Kumba Iron ore, 082 882 3452
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257