Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals has reached an agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) regarding the matters that led to unprotected industrial action at Bushveld Vametco Alloys’ mine, near Brits, in the North West.
The industrial action started on September 5, bringing production at the mine to a halt.
The unprotected industrial action was called off on Friday and employees have returned to work.
The company and AMCU have agreed that a settlement agreement, signed between Bushveld Vametco Alloys and AMCU in May, in respect of payments in lieu of employee share options schemes (Esops) for 2013 to 2017, is valid and recognised.
Additionally, Vametco will pay employees an amount in lieu of Esops for this year on the same basis as the Esops payment made as part of the May 2018 settlement agreement. The payments will be structured as a two-part payment.
The first payment of R15 000, post-tax, shall be paid to each employee in respect of the period from January 1 to June 30. This amount will be paid on September 28.
A second payment in respect of the period from July 1 to December 31 will be payable after the release of the financial results of Bushveld Vametco Alloys for the 2018 financial year. This is expected to be paid by March 31, 2019.
The Esops payments for this year will be made only to permanent employees and fixed-term employees who have been in the employment of Vametco since January 1 and continue to be in the employment of the company at the time of the Esops payments.
The company and AMCU have further committed to accelerate discussions for establishing a framework for a new Esops structure to be implemented from January 1, 2019, as well as processes to deal with all remaining labour issues going forward, including clear mechanisms for escalating disputes to regional and national union leadership, as well as to the company’s management team.
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo said the agreement is “a positive outcome for all parties”, and ensures that the resource continues to bear fruit, while the company strives towards building a sound partnership with all employees.
He added that the agreement upholds all previous engagements and agreements entered into by the company and workers, and that it affirms the important role of the workers as key stakeholders in the company.
“We are pleased they will share in the success of Bushveld Minerals.”
Additionally, Mojapelo noted that the settlement agreement includes provisions designed to discourage any future participation in unprotected industrial action by employees at the risk of forfeiting their participation in any Esop payments.
“We are glad that all parties have reached a mutually beneficial agreement and we can now look forward to ending the year with a solid performance."