Following the three-year wage agreement signed with employers in the metals and engineering sector, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has announced it will be meeting with the Chamber of Mines to discuss wages in the coal-mining sector. Numsa is looking for a 15% wage increase for coal miners, despite the fact that it achieved less than half that amount in the etals and engineering sector.

Numsa is focusing on Glencore Plc, one of the world’s largest natural resource commodities producers, in its current negotiations. The union’s demand for 15% wage increase across the board equates to a R1 020 increase for the lowest paid worker, a once-off R80 000 housing subsidy, and a 20% increase in all allowances. This is almost triple the inflation rate of 4.6%.

Numsa looks for 15 wage increase in coal sector“As Numsa, we believe that our demands are fair given that mining houses in South Africa have made obscene profits in the last 23 years and they continue to do so, whilst the working and living conditions of workers have not improved at all to the same degree,” Numsa acting spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said in a statement.

“Every year since 2012, at least 73 people die underground as a result of mining accidents because mining bosses don’t have the political will to improve safety conditions. Capitalists argue that they deserve to make millions because they put up the finances to fund the mining company, and yet they place no value on the life of an African worker,” Hlubi said.

“They must prove that they value the lives of our members and their families. They have not begun to make up for the suffering they caused under Apartheid, therefore they have no choice, they have a duty to drastically improve living and working conditions of workers.”

Image credit: https://twitter.com/phakxx


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