Nov 2, 2023
The agreement will see employees receiving a 7% increase in 2023, and 6% in the subsequent years until April 30 2028, De Beers said in a statement. The increase takes the minimum entry level basic wage to 17,630 rand ($954.30) per month, excluding allowances, De Beers said in a statement.
The agreement also allows for participation in Anglo American employee share ownership plans, it added.
De Beers Group Managed Operations Managing Director Moses Madondo said the wage talks had been “very tough” as they took place during challenging market conditions for the global diamond industry.
“The agreement provides a measure of certainty to our employees for the next five years as we focus on ramping up the underground mine at Venetia,” Madondo said.
De Beers and NUM, which represents more than 1,500 workers at the global diamond giant’s South African operations, were negotiating the wage deal since March.
“The NUM members are very happy with the deal and have mandated us to sign the wage agreement,” NUM’s chief negotiator with De Beers, Masibulele Naki, said in a separate statement.
In September, NUM had threatened to go on strike at Venetia, saying wage talks had broken down.
Industrial action would have disrupted production at Venetia, where De Beers started production in July from its new $2.3 billion underground mine after ending 30-year open pit mining operations in December 2022.
The diamond industry is facing tough market conditions caused by weak demand amid global economic uncertainty.
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