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De Beers offer of 11percent increase, rejected by NUM
Platform open for amicable settlements
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 1 2008 3:11PM
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Reference: 2885  

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De Beers met with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in an attempt to settle the 2008 annual wage negotiation. NUM demanded 13.5percent increase and De Beers raised its offer from 10.5 percent to 11percent for 2008. This equates to a new minimum basic salary at the top entry level (B-band) of R8 434, and at the first entry level of employment (A-band), of R4 421. These job bands constitute the traditional bargaining unit represented by NUM.

The company also offers employees benefits such as medical cover, water and electricity allowances, housing assistance, and an attractive incentive bonus scheme which is payable on a quarterly basis, based on exceeding targets at each of the mines.

De Beers has six major mines in South Africa; Venetia in Limpopo Province, Voorspoed in the Free State, Finsch, Namaqualand, and Kimberley Mines in the Northern Cape. The NUM bargains for five of the six land based operations; and in a separate forum for employees in the deep sea mining operation known as the South African Sea Areas (SASA), off the west coast of the Northern Cape.

There are approximately 3,400 employees in the bargaining unit represented by NUM. De Beers is disappointed that NUM believes its purpose might be better served by embarking on industrial action as such action will undoubtedly affect production on mining operations, and therefore affect employees who benefit from the company’s employee incentive scheme.

De Beers believes an amicable resolution is possible and the company is open to continue discussions with the Union.

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