4,000 SA gold miners on strike

ABOUT 4000 members of the National Union of Mineworkers enter their second day of strike action at DRDGold’s Blyvoor mine in Carletonville, North West, today. The NUM members, who downed tools on Tuesday , are demanding a 13percent wage increase. DRDGold is offering a 7 percent increase for lowest-category employees and 6,5 percent for the other grades workers.

The United Association of South Africa has already signed a wage settlement with DRDGold. In terms of the settlement, employees in the Uasa recognition unit at Blyvoor will receive a 6,5percent increase, at Crown 6percent and at ERPM 4percent.

In addition workers are eligible for a gold price/profit- linked incentive scheme, in terms of which their overall increases can rise to a total of 15percent.

NUM has rejected all the offers signed by Uasa.

The gold price hit an 18-month peak yesterday and analysts said the precious metal was eyeing more highs.

Spot gold rose to a high of 1020,50 an ounce yesterday as the dollar’s slide to 2009 lows against the euro sparked buying of the metal as an alternative asset.

NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said they were not prepared to settle for the wage levels Uasa had settled for.

“We represent mainly blue collar workers, unlike Uasa which represents mainly the management levels. The 6,5 percent for an underground worker is not the same as someone in a managerial position.”

DRDGold spokesperson James Duncan confirmed that Blyvoor was the worst affected by the strike action.

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