Sibanye-Stillwater: Final settlement offer on the table

Sibanye-Stillwater tabled its final settlement offer to striking workers on Friday, saying their offer is a fair one and urging workers to ‘carefully consider’ it.

 Kloof mine. Photo: Sibanye-Stillwater

With the offer, the company is hoping to end a 45 day-long strike that they say has caused a loss of millions in salaries and tax earnings.

The Final Settlement Offer is for the period of three years and will mean that:

  • Category 4 – 8 employees will receive an increase of R850 in year one, R850 in year two and R850 in year three which includes a R50 increase in the Living Out Allowance each year.
  • Miners, artisans and officials would receive an increase of 5% in years one, two and three.

The offer amounts to a 7.8% increase to the basic wage in year one, 7.2% in year two and 6.8% in year three for entry-level Category 4 employees.

In rand terms, this offer would mean that over the next three years, the average monthly income including the average bonus for Category 4 underground production employees, would increase by R1 045 each year from R17 512 to R20 648 by July 1, 2023. The annual guaranteed income for this group of employees will therefore increase by R37 628 from R210 144 to R247 772 per year by July, next year.

The Final Settlement Offer will increase Sibanye-Stillwater’s wage bill at its gold operations by R1.67b by July 1, 2023 and excludes concessions made in respect of non-wage demands. If accepted, the offer will be extended to all employees in the bargaining unit irrespective of union affiliation.

“As of today, the strike has continued for 45 days. Striking employees have lost around R990m, while Government has lost around R113m in PAYE income tax and salary related levies, and significantly more in lost taxes and mining royalties,” says Richard Cox, Executive Vice President: SA gold operations at Sibanye-Stillwater.

“We recognise that the extended strike and suspension of operations thus far is a huge financial burden to carry for striking employees, many of whom are the primary breadwinners for their families.

“For this reason, we assisted employees during this difficult financial time by paying a final further once-off back-pay for the period July 2021 to March 2022 to all employees.

The amount was calculated on the offer tabled on February 4 which included a R700 increase on the standard rate of pay for Category 4 – 8 employees and a 5% increase for miners and considered the previous back-pay paid to employees in December last year. All employees received the money in their bank accounts on April 15.

“This was a once-off payment, and the company will not be implementing further back-pay until a wage agreement has been concluded. Any back-pay that may result from the final wage agreement will be reduced by the amount of back-pay paid in December 2021 and April.

“Our offer is fair, considers inflationary living costs, considers the sustainability of the SA gold operations and is in the interests of all stakeholders. We urge employees to carefully consider the offer we have made and to ensure that their voices are heard.”

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