The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it is ready to face off with gold mining companies at negotiations starting on Wednesday.The union wants entry-level wages of R10‚500 for underground workers and a 15% across the board increase for officials, a living-out allowance of R3‚000 or a housing allowance of R5‚000, as well as increases in shift allowances‚ a transport allowance, a meal allowance of R120 per day and an acting allowance equal to 100% of the salary of the position‚ among other demands.Comprehensive changes to the miners’ leave system will be on the bargaining table too.The NUM said it wanted a minimum of 35 days annual leave‚ six months of fully paid maternity leave‚ 10 days antenatal and postnatal leave‚ paternity leave to be a minimum of 10 days and 10 days’ family responsibility leave. Compassionate leave should be a minimum of five days and study leave should be a minimum of three days per subject.Furthermore‚ sick leave should be increased to 120 days over a t...

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