Impala’s Rustenburg
operation “’ hit
by strike
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 August 2009 – Impala Platinum Holdings Limited “’ the world’s second-largest producer of the metal “’ reports that mining at its Rustenburg operation in South Africa has been halted by a strike in protest at delays in securing a wage agreement.

Operations such as refining at Rustenburg are unaffected by the strike, Impala spokesman Bob Gilmour told Reuters by phone from here.

“Impala has offered workers a 10% pay rise,” Gilmour said. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) had accepted the offer “in principle,” according to spokesman Lesiba Seshoka yesterday.

The company’s latest offer met two key NUM demands, handing it a one-year wage agreement, with a pay rise of 10 percent for all workers, but NUM negotiator Eddie Majadibodu pointed out that for some it was not enough. “There are some branches which have rejected the offer, but we don’t know how many, as we have not consolidated all the reports yet,” he told Reuters.

Workers are “very angry with the length of time it took for Impala to reach agreement,” Seshoka said by mobile phone. “We don’t know how long it will take us to convince members to end the strike,” he added.

The union is due to meet with Implats tomorrow to discuss the dispute. It has about 18 000 members at Implats, and the company says a strike is likely to hit output from its mines.