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Gold producers to propose social pact to unions - BDlive

Thursday, 18 June 2015

SOUTH African gold producers will present unions with an "economic and social sustainability pact" when wage talks kick off on Monday, the chief negotiator for the Chamber of Mines said on Thursday.

The talks, which include AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold and Harmony Gold, come at a time when the industry is grappling with depressed prices, falling production and rising costs.

"What we are going to say to the unions is that we need to talk about sustainability of the industry and we need to talk about it as partners," Elize Strydom, the chamber’s chief negotiator, said.

"The social compact will include sharing the gains if the gold price goes up and if the price goes down, sharing the pain," she said.

Ms Strydom also said a "financial model" would be proposed to the unions but did not elaborate. The pact would include proposals to tackle employee debt levels, an issue that had been linked to high wage demands and increased union militancy.

The two biggest unions are demanding wage hikes for their lowest paid members from about 80% to more than 100%, setting the stage for tough talks.

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