Sunday, November 27, 2022

De Beers, NUM reaches 9 percent deal to avoid strike

De Beers and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) reached a deal that averted the planned strike last Friday.

According to the South African mining giant, mining operations continued without interruption at all three of De Beers’ South African diamond mines.

“The terms of settlement apply to jobs in the A, B and lower C band bargaining unit. The employees in these jobs will receive a 9 percent increase, effective from May 2013 and for a one year duration. Mining operations continued without interruption at all three of De Beers’ South African diamond mines,” De Beers said.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that the strikes were to go ahead at the Voorspoed operation in Free State province, Kimberley in Northern Cape Province and Venetia in Limpopo province even as talks continue, said Peter Bailey, a negotiator for the National Union of Mineworkers. The action was also to affect the company’s trading arm, Diamond Trading Co.

The strike was to be a blow to the South Africa’s mining industry where already there is tension between employers and unions.

De Beers said, together with the union, there was an agreement to phase out the few (25) remaining A Band positions which still exist at the Kimberley Mines operation and at the DTC in Kimberley.

“The Union and the Company committed to engage around housing matters and to develop mechanisms which effectively promote home ownership for employees in the ‘Housing Gap market’. This will assist employees who fall between the Government RDP housing schemes and the formal home-loan market. DBCM does not operate hostels.”

De Beers Consolidated Mines employs approximately 2, 550 people working on three mines in South Africa; namely Kimberley, Venetia and Voorspoed, and in various support services.

NUM represents 1 300 employees who fill the Bargaining Unit positions on those operations.
De Beers operates in Botswana, Canada and Namibia. (Additional reporting by Bloomberg)

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