De Beers and Mine workers avert strike

The National Union of Mineworkers workforce will receive an 8 percent wage increase under an agreement that it made with De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited. The settlement averts an industrial action by the South African mine union.

The new minimum basic rate of pay will be R3 348 per month (approximately $513) effective from May 2005, according to a joint statement released by the two parties. The statement also discussed that the two parties agreed on “conditions of employment,” but did not elaborate in the statement.

Both parties said they welcome the agreement.

“The union is satisfied with the agreement reached after difficult and protracted negotiations,” said Peter Bailey, chief negotiator of the NUM.

“Despite difficult negotiations and the significant impact of external factors, the parties ultimately reached a settlement which meets the needs of the company and the NUM,” added Wayne Smerdon, negotiator for De Beers.