BLACK GOLD: A bucket wheel reclaimer operates at the Newcastle Coal Terminal in Newcastle, north of Sydney, Australia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/IAN WALDIE
BLACK GOLD: A bucket wheel reclaimer operates at the Newcastle Coal Terminal in Newcastle, north of Sydney, Australia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/IAN WALDIE

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has signed a three-year wage agreement with six of the seven coal producers negotiating through the Chamber of Mines but will begin a strike at the seventh, Kangra Coal, on Friday, it said.

The agreement averts a strike at some of the country’s biggest mines that both export coal and supply Eskom.

The companies negotiating through the chamber are Anglo American Coal, Glencore, Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga, Msobo Coal, Koornfontein, Kangra Coal and Delmas Coal.

The agreed increases for 2017-18, backdated to June 1 or July 1, range from 5% to 7.5%, depending on the category and the company, rising to 5%-8.5% in 2019.

At the biggest producers, Anglo American Coal will pay the greater of CPI inflation plus 1% or 7.5% in 2018 for all categories, rising to 8.5% for categories 4-8 and 8% for officials in 2019.

Exxaro and Glencore have agreed the same for 2018 but in 2019 both will pay the greater of CPI inflation plus 1% or 7.5% to all categories.

At Kangra Coal, the NUM is demanding a R1,100 one-off increase this year, 7.5% for 2018 and 8.5% for 2019. It also wants housing allowances to be harmonised since they range from R4,050 to R12,600. It accused the owners of the mine of being "arrogant and negotiating in bad faith".

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