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VENTURES AFRICA – JSE-listed platinum miner, Northam Platinum, on Thursday rejected accusations by the National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM) that it did not bargain in “good faith.”
Northam has been locked in a three-week long labour action at its Zondereinde mine with more than 7000 NUM workers having downed tools.
“We take issue with the NUM’s allegation that the company has not bargained in good faith. Good faith bargaining has been a guiding principle of the company’s approach to these and all other negotiations,” Northam claimed.
It said the NUM had failed to change its demands during the private mediation period while it (Northam) made two corrections on its salary offer to striking workers.
This week NUM swore to continue its fight for salary raises at Northam, where workers have reportedly lost R30 million ($2.9m) in salaries since the strike started.
NUM is asking for an across-the-board salary raise of R2, 100 a month for core workers and R2, 000 a month for non-core miners.
It is also demanding more increase in the housing/living-out allowance from R2, 200 a month to R3, 718 a month. This increase is equal to a 69 percent increase.
A NUM negotiator at Northam described the strike as a “fight of our lives.”