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De Beers, NUM Fail to Settle Wage Agreement

Jul 4, 2013 5:46 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... De Beers and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) failed to reach a wage agreement in South Africa, following negotiations held at the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) yesterday, the company reported.

Representatives from De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) met with NUM following a dispute declared early in negotiations between the union and the company on June 12, 2013. NUM initially requested a wage increase of 13 percent across the board, while De Beers offered 6 percent with an option to negotiate.

The CCMA was unable to mediate and issued a certificate to this effect, enabling  the union to provide the company 48 hours notice of its intention to embark on protected industrial action, while the company can give the union 48 hours notice to lock out union members.

"We had agreement in the CCMA on the broader issues in the wage negotiation. However several demands from the union, which all have high cost implications and which the union was not prepared to negotiate on, lead us to a point where we could not agree on a settlement,” said Wayne Smerdon, De Beers lead negotiator.

Smerdon noted that the company felt its offer was competitive and sustainable for the future.

De Beers said that it although it had necessary contingency plans in the event that NUM members decided to strike, it will continue to try to find constructive means to resolve the dispute.  
Tags: De Beers, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Deena Taylor, num, wage agreement
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