Tags: safrica | mine | strike | deadlocked | gold

SAfrica Gold Mine Owners: Strike Talks Deadlocked

Monday, 15 Oct 2012 09:33 AM

JOHANNESBURG — Efforts to end a rash of gold mine strikes that have strangled South African production have reached an impasse, mine owners said Monday, with no further talks planned.
 
In last-gasp talks, unions had reported that a negotiated wage offer was met with skepticism by striking miners, leading the Chamber of Mines to declare "it is not in a position to make any further proposals."

The announcement could spell the end of an effort to deal with a spate of labor unrest through a centralized bargaining process.

"The individual companies will now explore other avenues to try to bring normality to the gold mining industry," a Chamber of Mines statement said.

The mine owners association also warned of the grave damage that will be done to the sector, and to South Africa's already spluttering economy.

Tens of thousands of gold workers have been on strike for more than a month in South Africa's mines, most of them located near the commercial hub of Johannesburg.

The often violent strikes over pay have strangled production in the country, which accounts for around 7 percent of global output.

"The current impasse is extremely unfortunate, not only for the industry and its employees, but also for future growth and development in South Africa, given the critical role that gold mining plays in our country's economic development," said chamber official Elize Strydom.

No one from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was available for comment.

Workers indicated Thursday they could not get behind a deal negotiated between NUM and the chamber, saying it was not up to their demand of roughly 12,500 rand ($1,430) per month wages.

The latest offer would have seen monthly wages and bonuses go up to between 7,000 and 10,000 rand.

The unrest has also been marked by workers' rejection of union leadership, especially the NUM, which is allied to the ruling African National Congress.

Meanwhile strikes spread on Monday, with 8,500 workers at Gold Fields KDC East operation joining a strike at sister facilities, causing a complete suspension of production.

The firm said 19,500 out of a total workforce of approximately 26,700 were now striking at the KDC east and west sites.

AngloGold Ashanti, which has some 24,000 workers at all of its six mines in South Africa staying away from work, recently warned it will soon become difficult to convince investors to put their capital into Africa's biggest and most advanced economy.

Similar labor unrest has also affected platinum mining.
 
 

© AFP 2017

 
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Efforts to end a rash of gold mine strikes that have strangled South African production have reached an impasse, mine owners said Monday, with no further talks planned.
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2012-33-15
Monday, 15 Oct 2012 09:33 AM
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