Ground-breaking : 5-year wage agreement between Siyanda Bakgatla Platinum Mine, AMCU and NUM
Siyanda Bakgatla Platinum Mine (SBPM) has negotiated an historic wage agreement with both AMCU and NUM for the period 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2027. It was signed two and a half months before the previous three year agreement is due to lapse.
Says SBPM Executive for Sustainable Development, Hope Tyira, “Thanks to our strong and mature relationships with our workers and their representatives, we have a long term contract which will benefit all our employees. Having certainty with regard to our wage bill for the next five years allows us to plan and secure the sustainability of our mine as we create wealth for all our stakeholders.”
He adds, “I believe both unions signing such an agreement is a first in the mining industry in South Africa!”
SBPM enjoys sound employee relations, based in part on the share participation scheme which ensures that employees own 7.3% of the mine, while the host communities own 27% through a trust. Tyira notes that it is important for these two key stakeholders to participate in the value added by SBPM. He says, “they are part owners and are committed to ensuring the long term sustainability of SBPM. This year SBPM paid dividends amounting to R84 million and each qualifying employee received an average of R14000. The dividends are over and above their usual monthly bonuses.
This new collective agreement, concluded in terms of the Labour Relations Act, covers specific wage increases for the next five years and a number of allowances – home owners’ allowances, living out allowances, rock drill operators’ and sewerage plant allowances, medical aid and provident fund contributions, long service awards and family responsibility/parental leave. The agreement precludes industrial action on matters covered in the contract.
Tyira adds, “We are delighted that the unions have agreed to support us in our application to the Department of Labour for exemptions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act for the five year period due to operational requirements relating to shift schedules. They will also support management in our efforts to reduce the absenteeism.