Cape Times

Harmony signs landmark 5-year wage deal that ensures stability

- PHILIPPA LARKIN philippa.larkin@inl.co.za

JSE-LISTED Harmony Gold said yesterday it had concluded a landmark five-year wage agreement that ensures stability and continued certainty on its fixed labour costs for the next five years.

The deal for the period July 1 to June 30, will take effect on July 1 and is in respect of increases to wages and other conditions of service with Harmony’s five labour unions – the National Union of Mineworker­s, Uasa, Solidarity, Associatio­n of Mineworker­s and Constructi­on Union and National Union of Metalworke­rs of South Africa.

“This agreement will result in an increase of approximat­ely 6% per annum over the five-year period, which is within Harmony planning parameters,” the company said.

Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp said: “For the first time in our 73-year history, we have concluded a five-year wage agreement with all of our labour unions.

“This is testimony to the strength of our labour relations and ensures stability and continued certainty on our fixed labour costs for the next five years.

“This milestone agreement has been reached three months before the existing agreement’s expiry. It is fair and balanced, considerin­g the impact that increases in the cost of living are likely to have on employees over the next five years,” he said.

Steenkamp said Harmony was pleased that the wage negotiatio­ns were carried out in good faith and commended all parties for demonstrat­ing good leadership by engaging constructi­vely.

“Our people are our top priority, and I thank everyone involved in making this possible,” he added.

The share price of Harmony closed 2.16% higher at R166.30 on the JSE yesterday, having risen more than 136% over the past three years.

In February, Harmony reported that in the half-year period to end December 2023 it had lifted headline earnings per share by 226% to R9.56 per share against the backdrop of elevated operating free cash flow that soared 265% to R7.1 billion. At the time it said it was maintainin­g a longterm outlook on South Africa.

Wages were as follows:

Category 4 employees would receive a wage increase of R 200 in year 1; R1 250 in year two; R1 300 in year three; R1 450 in year four; and R1 500 in year five.

B-lower employees would receive a wage increase of R1 200, or 6.2%, in year 1; R1 250 or 6.2% or CPI (consumer price index) in year two, R1 300, or 6.2%, or CPI in year three; R1 450, or 6.35%, or CPI in year four; and R1 500, or 6.5%, or CPI in year five.

Miners, artisans and officials would receive a wage increase of 6.2% in year one; 6.2%, or CPI, in year two; 6.2%, or CPI, in year three; 6.35%, or CPI, in year four; and 6.5%, or CPI, in year five.

In addition to the basic wage increases, the parties agreed that the current monthly housing allowance would increase R3 360 in year one, R3 480 in year two, R3 660 in year three, R3 840 in year four and R4 020 in year five.

Furthermor­e, the current monthly living-out allowance would increase by R100 to R2 800 in year one, R100 to R2 900 in year two, R150 to R3 050 in year three, R150 to R3 200 in year four and R150 to R3 350 in year five.

Employees not making use of available company-provided accommodat­ion were eligible for either a housing allowance or a living-out allowance, but not both, Harmony said.

Several non-wage related and process issues had also been agreed to, including increasing the current guaranteed minimum severance and medical incapacity payments, medical aid co-contributo­ry benefits, and maternity and paternity leave.

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 ?? | SUPPLIED ?? HARMONY Gold’s operations Phakisa mine.
| SUPPLIED HARMONY Gold’s operations Phakisa mine.

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