Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
Joseph Mathunjwa. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

THE Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) will demand a R12,500 basic salary in the gold sector for underground workers during forthcoming negotiations, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Wednesday.

Amcu members will demand that salaries for underground and above ground workers increase by between R6,500 and R7,000 as well as a doubling of the living out allowance, to R4,000, Mr Mathunjwa said at a briefing in Johannesburg.

The current basic salary in the gold sector is about R5,700, with Amcu’s demand requiring increases of well over 100%. Mr Mathunjwa cited high executive salary levels, which he said had increased despite declining production levels within the gold sector.

"Amcu submits the 2015 wage demands with a clear conscience and intends to see (salary) parity prevail," he said.

Amcu represents about 29% of employees in this year’s round of collective bargaining, which affects about 94,000 employees and five gold companies: AngloGold Ashanti, Evander Gold Mines (which belongs to Pan African Resources, Harmony Gold, Village Main Reef and Sibanye.

The three other unions bargaining with companies under the Chamber of Mines have already submitted their demands, including the largest, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which is demanding an 80% rise at the lowest level. The NUM represents about 54% of the workforce covered by bargaining, sufficient to extend the agreement.

Trade union Solidarity is pushing for a 12% increase and changes to retirement policies, while the United Association of SA (Uasa) has ditched percentage-based increases in favour of an agreement which maximises take-home pay and offers further options for productivity-based bonuses.

Bargaining is expected to begin in earnest in June, with the previous two-year wage deal expiring at the end of that month.