19 March 2019
SUMMARY: The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has received a mandate from its members to accept the settlement agreement proposed by the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The Union is hopeful that this will signal a speedy resolution to the wage dispute of almost four months.
AMCU has obtained a resounding mandate from its members to accept the proposed settlement agreement advanced by the CCMA, in an attempt to the break the wage negotiations deadlock with Sibanye-Stillwater. This deadlock has resulted in a protracted strike which started on 21 November 2018 and is still ongoing.
The CCMA facilitated engagement between AMCU and Sibanye-Stillwater in terms of section 150 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), which is designed to break deadlocks during collective bargaining processes, when there is sufficient public interest in a particular matter.
The proposal by the CCMA is a payment of R5 700, coupled with other issues as contained in the previous settlement agreement. These include a salary advance of R5 000, debt consolidation, non-deductions of employer contributions to benefits, death benefits of employees who passed on during the strike, as well as disciplinary issues.
While AMCU members previously indicated acceptance of the other issues covered, up to now they insisted on a payment of R9 300.
AMCU leaders conducted mass meetings on Friday, 15 March 2019, and at these meetings members accepted the proposed settlement by the CCMA in broad terms, before mandating the negotiating team to engage further with Sibanye-Stillwater on the implementation and method of payment, as well as the issue of back-pay.
At the meeting facilitated by the CCMA yesterday (18 March 2019), AMCU communicated its in-principle acceptance of the proposed settlement, emphasising that the R5 700 should be split over two of the wage agreement term, which is three years in total, as well as back-pay for the first year of the term.
Even though Sibanye-Stillwater did not accept the proposal by the CCMA, AMCU remains positive that this will create the necessary momentum to see a speedy resolution to the wage dispute.