Strike to hit gold mines

By Drum Digital
30 August 2013

National Union of Mineworkers members will down tools at gold mines next week, the union said on Friday.

"We deserve better than [a] R300 increase... we work hard underground in unbearable temperatures," spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said.

"They [employers] must give us big increases, it is the fruits of our labour, otherwise they must go dance."

Talks between gold producers and the NUM deadlocked when the union rejected a six percent increase in basic wages for category six to eight employees, made by the Chamber of Mines.

The NUM dismissed the tabled offer as "a joke".

In addition, the chamber said accommodation allowances would be increased in accordance with the consumer price index.

The gold mining companies are AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Rand Uranium, Harmony Gold, Evander Gold, Sibanye Gold, and Village Main Reef.

They were issued with a notice of strike by the NUM through the Chamber of Mines.

"The strike is expected to begin with effect from the night shift on Tuesday, 3 September 2013," chamber spokeswoman Charmane Russell said in a statement.

Gold producers were handed a 48-hour notice by the NUM, but remained open to wage discussions to reach an acceptable agreement.

"The employers will continue to make plans in anticipation of strike action, to ensure the continuation of essential services, and to ensure the safety and security of employees and assets."

-by Sapa

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