The strike between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and South32’s Hillside operation in Richards Bay has finally been settled on a two-year agreement.
Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi said the 600-worker wage dispute strike at the aluminium operation was settled after both parties agreed on a 5.1% increase for all workers except drivers, who will get a 5.6% for the first year.
For year two, Hlubi said workers will get an increase in line with the consumer price index or 5.1% whichever is higher, while all workers will also receive a sign-on bonus of R7 000 and drivers R10 000. The wage deal ends in August 2019.
Hlubi said the union’s members are satisfied with the compromise agreement but will continue seeking other benefits such as medical aid and housing allowances.
President and chief operating officer for South32 Africa Region, Mike Fraser, said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Numsa which supports the long term sustainability of our Hillside operation, while also preserving jobs. This agreement supports our goal of managing controllable costs at Hillside and has laid a foundation to work with Numsa to jointly identify opportunities to reduce labour costs.”
In South Africa and Mozambique, South32 has interests in aluminium smelters, manganese mines, as well as coal mines in Mpumalanga.