Workers at Majwe Mining Joint Venture in Jwaneng will be smiling all the way to the bank after forcing management to agree to a compromise settlement on Monday, granting them a raft of benefits including salary increase, allowances and medial aid subscription.
The compromise settlement betweeen Majwe mining and workers has prevented a looming strike, which was scheduled to commence on Wednesday. Although Majwe Mining spokesperson Archibald Ngakayagae denied that there was ever a possibility of a strike at the mine, the president of Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) Jack Tlhagale told The Patriot on Sunday that their plans to go on strike were interrupted at the 11th hour. He said they had already met with Jwaneng District Labour Officer-representing the commissioner, to set the rules of the strike.`When it became clear that the strike will go on as planned Majwe Mining management met with union leaders to negotiate a compromise settlement.
The union and Majwe Mining Joint venture have agreed to have annual salary negotiations, according to Ngakayagage, but Tlhagale explained that the mine was this time pressurised into giving in to demands by their threat to strike. Tlhagale said the mine had initially offered them a six percent salary increase and no project allowance. This he says did not sit well with their members as they had wanted a 15 percent increase, more than 10 percent CONTOPS and Shift allowance and a P4000 project allowance. It is then that they decided to go on strike.
In the settlement certificate signed by the union and Jwaneng mining officials on the 4th of May the two agreed on a multi-year wage increase covering the period 2015 and 2016. An across the board wage increases as follows will be effective from the 1st of January 2015.
The two parties agreed on a seven percent salary increase, five percent CONTOPS allowance, 5 percent shift allowance, P2000 project allowance, medical aid scheme B at member plus 4 at 80 percent company contribution and 20 percent employee contribution and provision of transport to the west destination Kang. According to Tlhagale the P2000 project allowance is coming in for the first time.
For January 2016 the two parties agreed on a seven percent salary increase, seven percent CONTOPS allowance, seven percent shift allowance but the agreed percentages are subject to adjustment of one percent if the year on year inflation for the previous year is two percent above the agreed percentage and one percent part thereof for each additional one percent increase in inflation. “For example, if the 2015 December inflation is eight per cent the across the board increase for 2016 will be eight per cent, if the inflation is nine per cent the increase will be 10 per cent,” reads part of the settlement certificate.
Majwe Mining is a joint venture between Basil Read Mining Botswana, Australian Leighton International Limited and Bothakga Burrow Botswana on a five-year US$586 million (P4.363 billion) mining services contract at the Debswana Diamond Mine, in Jwaneng. The contract is for the Cut 8 Phase 2 services at the Debswana- the world's largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations at Jwaneng, Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa. Jwaneng is one of the richest diamond mines in the world. The joint venture provides mining services to deliver the Cut 8 Phase 2 contract, including mine scheduling, drill and blast, truck & shovel waste removal and limited ore mining.