NUM urges Northam to make ‘good offer’

[] — THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday called on Northam Platinum to return to the negotiation table with a good offer.

The strike at the platinum producer’s Zondereinde mine near Thabazimbi, entered its fourth week this week.

Northam has already settled its wage talks with trade union Solidarity, a smaller union, but negotiations with the larger NUM have floundered.

The NUM claims that more than 8,000 workers are on strike at Northam.

NUM is demanding a wage increase of 12% across the board and a living out allowance of R3,500 while the company is offering 8.5% over a period of two years and a R100 increase in the living out allowance from the existing R1,600.

The Solidarity agreement, which will be implemented retrospectively from the beginning of July this year, will see its members receive an 8.5% wage increase on basic salaries as well as an 8.5% increase on housing subsidies, which amounts to R242 per month.

Northam has said the strike is costing it an estimated 1,000 ounces of production daily.