Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 July 2009 – A strike by South Africa’s gold mine workers is still a possibility, and wage negotiations are set to continue after the latest offer by the gold producers was rejected out of hand by the union.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) “’ the country’s biggest mine workers’ trade union “’ has rejected an increased pay offer by AngloGold Ashanti Limited and Gold Fields Limited of 8% to 9.5% as “totally unacceptable” and will continue with negotiations.
“That is definitely not enough and we’ll have to take this through to our members to decide whether we’ll need to get a certificate … which will enable us to strike,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said.
Union officials hope that they will up their offer, Seshoka said in a mobile telephone interview with Bloomberg News.
The mining companies previously offered a 7% gain, compared with workers’ demand for 15%. Gold producers aim to boost output to benefit from higher prices, while workers are seeking a share of the gains.
The NUM “’ representing about 130 000 gold miners “’ is talking with the Chamber of Mines, representing the nation’s largest mine operators “’ along with the UASA and Solidarity unions. Elize Strydom, who is negotiating for the chamber, wasn’t immediately available for comment when Bloomberg News called her office.
Talks with Harmony Gold Mining Company, which is negotiating outside the chamber, are continuing, company spokeswoman Marian van der Walt said.