The ball is in miners' court, say NUM coal strikers

(iStock)
(iStock)

Johannesburg - The coal companies affected by the National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM’s) strike will meet on Tuesday to “chart a way forward”, according to the Chamber of Mines.

On Sunday thousands of workers affiliated to NUM went on strike for higher wages, affecting operations at several coal companies which include Anglo Coal, Glencore [JSE:GLN] and Exxaro Coal.

READ: 30 000 NUM members to down tools

If prolonged, the strike will threaten electricity supply in the country as Eskom’s coal stockpiles will be depleted.

READ: Prolonged NUM strike will threaten Eskom coal supplies

Chamber of Mines spokesperson Charmane Russel on Tuesday morning said the companies were feeling the impact of the strike but could not quantify this. Russel said the chamber left it to the different companies to quantify the impact of the strike. NUM is the majority union in the coal sector.

She said representatives of the companies would meet among themselves on Tuesday, and would then meet the union later in the week. Russel would not give details of what the companies would discuss.

Meanwhile, NUM Highveld deputy chairperson Nelson Ratshoshi on Tuesday morning said the ball is in the coal companies’ court. Ratshoshi said the union is happy with its members’ participation in the strike.

NUM members downed tools on Sunday, demanding higher wages. NUM wants R1 000 increase for the lowest paid worker and a 14% rise for artisans, miners and officials.  

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