Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 November 2009 – South Africa’s biggest workers’ union “’ the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) “’ has threatened to hold a strike at Anglo American’s coal unit if company officials fail to respond to demands for better working conditions and benefits.
Revealing this here, NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said hundreds of workers had delivered their list of demands to Anglo Coal in Johannesburg during a protest march on Saturday.
“We have given Anglo Coal seven days to respond to the demands and to tell us what processes they will follow to act on the demands,” Seshoka told Reuters.
“If they do not respond within that period then we will have an indefinite strike action,” he warned. The demands include a call for the company to fulfill its pledge to provide funeral cover to families of miners, and to build childcare facilities for its female employees.
The union said Anglo had failed to fulfill the child care agreement reached in 2002/2003, and it also accused the company of victimisation of its workers over HIV/AIDS.
“Anglo Coal chief executive Ben Magara received the memorandum of demands on behalf of the company, which has promised to respond,” Seshoka said.
South Africa’s coal producers and mineworkers finalised a two-year wage deal in July under which coal mining firms agreed to pay an average increase of between 9 to 10%, while wages for entry level workers would increase by 11 %.