Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 September 2010 – South Africa’s largest mining trade union “’ the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) “’ says the strike at Northam Platinum could go on for several months until the company meets the union’s pay demands.
Northam “’ one of South Africa’s smaller platinum miners “’ has said that it was losing 1 000 ounces in daily output of platinum group metals (PGMs), after 80% of its 6 800 employees at Zondereinde mine started the strike on Sunday.
NUM chief negotiator at Northam Zwelitsha Tantsi, said there had been no talks so far to try to resolve the dispute. “There is no turning back now or any time soon. It is going to be months and months of strike action,” he added.
Northam has offered workers an 8% wage increase on a two-year deal, and the NUM is demanding a 15% rise.
South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy, has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats in both the private and public sectors, which have led to above-inflation settlements and have stoked fears that the cost of living will rise. South Africa’s inflation rate slowed to a four-year low of 3.7% in July.
Shares in Northam Platinum were down 1.33% at R43.80 at 1109 GMT, compared with a 0.39 % rise in the JSE’s All-share index.