Gold talks go to CCMA as Amcu brings up thorny overtime is­sue

CityPress - - Business -

In the process, the union is cap­i­tal­is­ing on what it calls un­rea­son­able com­pro­mises in work­ing hours that its ri­val, the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers, has agreed to since 2000.

Amcu’s claim con­cerns the al­leged prac­tice of “dis­guis­ing” overtime pay­ments on payslips as an al­lowance called a “risk pre­mium”. At An­gloGold Ashanti mines, for which the union has the best in­for­ma­tion, this pre­mium amounts to three hours’ overtime a week, bring­ing the nor­mal 45 hours’ work up to the mines’ tra­di­tional 48-hour week, says Amcu.

Ac­cord­ing to the union’s con­sult­ing economist, Dick Forslund, this “pre­mium” is re­ally a way to hide the fact that the mines pay only three hours’ overtime a week when in re­al­ity mine work­ers gen­er­ally clock 10 hours more than the le­gal def­i­ni­tion of “nor­mal hours”.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ba­sic Con­di­tions of Em­ploy­ment Act, ev­ery hour above nor­mal hours should be paid at 1.5 times the nor­mal rate.

Us­ing an av­er­age of 10 hours as the pre­sumed overtime per worker each week, this led Amcu to con­clude that the mines have underpaid overtime of about R10 bil­lion un­der the wage deal signed in 2013.

The cham­ber is­sued two short state­ments, one re­ject­ing Amcu’s claims as “spu­ri­ous” and the other an­nounc­ing it would now re­vert to a lower ear­lier of­fer as the talks go to the CCMA.

Re­spond­ing to City Press’ ques­tions, the cham­ber

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