Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 August 2010 – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says that its members at a Rio Tinto-BHP Billiton joint venture will vote on a strike today, following the company’s failure to meet their wage demands.
The union is demanding a 10% pay rise on a one-year deal for its members at the Richards Bay Minerals joint venture. Rio Tinto has offered an 8% increase on a three-year deal. The NUM is also demanding a rise in housing allowance to between R4 000 rand and R6 000, depending on the employee group.
“By last night Rio Tinto had not made a move. We are going to have a meeting today, and a decision will be made whether to go on strike,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said, adding that if the workers voted for a strike, they would down tools on Friday.
“The workers are quite angry. Surely they will make a strike decision today and a strike notice will be issued,” he added.
Meanwhile a strike of more than 600 workers at Exxaro’s mineral sands unit entered its second day today. Workers at the KwaZulu Natal sand units are demanding a 14% rise in wages, while the company has offered an 8% increase.