The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) says it will be meeting with employers at Harmony Gold for a fresh round of wage talks on Thursday.

Both parties met at the end of June where NUMSA thrashed out a number of demands.

NUMSA’s National Spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says: “We are demanding a three-year agreement of 15% increase in the first year, 16% in the second year and 17% in the third year. We are demanding housing allowances in order to enable home ownership. We demand that all underground workers must get risk premium benefit or underground allowance. Management receive this benefit but ordinary workers are denied it. Only officials are entitled and its calculated on the scale of 0.625% per shift of the basic salary.”

Hlubi-Majola says as a trade union they believe in the principle of equal pay for work of equal value: “We demand compensation for workers who use the conveyor belt underground. There must be an allowance for using the conveyor belt as a mode of transport. It is not a safe form of transportation, and it is risky to use it as a mode of transport. Workers often get injured when they use it.”

Hlubi-Majola adds: “These are just some of the burning demands which our members have highlighted. There are many in the media who will criticize our members for their demands and claim that we are being unreasonable, given the poor socio-economic outlook. We completely disagree. Our members are the most affected by the ailing economy and they are the hardest hit because their salaries are low.”