Solidarity, Exxaro Coal reach wage agreement

[] — Trade union Solidarity said on Thursday that it reached a “favourable” wage agreement with coal producer Exxaro Coal on Wednesday afternoon.

Apart from a wage increase of 7.5%, it was agreed that the issue of grading, which threatened to upset wage negotiations at the coal giant, will be referred to a task team to receive urgent attention, Solidarity said.

“Two different grading systems, namely the Patterson system and the JE Manager system, are currently used at Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga (ECM) and Exxaro Coal (EC). Employees on the same job level at these two facilities consequently receive different salaries,” Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans explained.

“A task team set up last year to investigate this issue will convene in August to seek possible solutions to the issues regarding standardisation, including the grading of employees’ salaries,” he added.

Apart from the wage increase, employees will also receive an increase of R150 a month.

According to Kleynhans, employees at the coal giant received a monthly commuting allowance of R150 in the past and had to pay the company’s bus service R48 a month.

“The wage agreement that has been reached makes provision for free bus transport for employees. The R150 commuting allowance will now form part of employees’ salaries, representing an additional increase of between 0.8% and 1.2%,” he added.