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Exxaro raises wage offer

Exxaro’s Leeuwpan
coal operation
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 October 2009 – South African diversified miner Exxaro has raised the offer for wage increases for workers at its coal mines to 9.9% “’ a move which is reported to have increased the chances of a deal later this week.

The Solidarity union, which represents nearly 1 400 workers at Exxaro’s Tshikondeni, Grootegeluk and Leeuwpan mines, said wage negotiations with the miner had been going on since July. The union declared a dispute with the company at the end of last month and referred the matter to the conciliation authority.

“Negotiations at Exxaro Coal have been extremely drawn out, and at one point a strike was threatening to be the only way out,” said Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans. “However, we are now positive that an agreement is in fact within reach.”

Other coal industry employers have agreed to pay an average increase of 9 to10%, and to raise wages for entry-level workers by 11%.