SA Miners to Strike After Rejecting Pay Offer


"Gold companies offered a 5% pay raise against union demands for a 14% increase."

Bloomberg, Mkhululi Mancotywa

Gold mining companies offered to raise pay by 5%, up from a previous offer of 4%, Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the Johannesburg-based union, said today by telephone. Members refused the proposal and are preparing for a walkout, he said.

The NUM and the United Association of South Africa are seeking wage increases of 14%, while the Solidarity union is seeking 12%. Gold prices have surged 37% since the start of last year, spurring unions to demand wage increases in excess of the inflation rate. Consumer prices rose an annual 4.6% in May, according to the nation's statistics office.

The companies will continue pay talks with unions on July 13, the Chamber of Mines said in an e-mailed statement.

"Clearly this matter will not be resolved," Seshoka said. "We will meet the Chamber of Mines next week to inform them of our intentions to strike."

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