Biggest Gold Union in South Africa Said to Reject Pay Offer

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Members of the National Union of Mineworkers, the biggest labor union at South African gold companies, have been rejecting a final deal tabled in wage negotiations, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Sibanye Gold Ltd. and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s third-largest producer, proposed on July 30 to raise monthly pay for entry-level workers by 1,000 rand ($79) annually for the three years started July 1. Harmony Gold Mining Co. offered a 500-rand increase. Basic pay is currently about 5,800 rand.

The Harmony offer has been rejected by members, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information is not public. At Sibanye and AngloGold, workers have indicated they are prepared to accept the 1,000-rand increases if they are considered salary rather than an allowance and benefits are raised as well, the person said.

The NUM, Solidarity and UASA unions will respond to the wage proposal by Aug. 7, Elize Strydom, the chief negotiator on behalf of the producers at the Chamber of Mines, told reporters Friday.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union formally rejected the offer Tuesday, the Chamber of Mines said in a statement. The union said it wanted to continue negotiations, it said.