Tags: safrica | strikers | swell | drivers

South Africa Strikers Swell to 100,000 as Drivers Join Miners

Thursday, 27 Sep 2012 08:03 AM

JOHANNESBURG Almost 100,000 miners and truck drivers are on strike in South Africa, the nation with the largest platinum, chrome, and manganese reserves, as workers demand above-inflation pay increases.

Unauthorized stoppages have shut about 39 percent of the country’s gold output after miners walked off the job at all of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.’s mines.

The world’s third-largest gold producer employs more than 32,000 in South Africa, its 2011 annual report shows. Gold Fields Ltd. said today there are no talks with its striking workers.

Miners have been emboldened to bypass union-led talks and make pay demands directly to management after Lonmin Plc last week awarded platinum workers a record increase of as much as 22 percent.

That increase, to end a six-week wildcat strike marked by deadly violence, is effective Oct. 1 and is more than four times the August inflation rate of 5 percent.

Gold Fields, the fourth largest producer of the precious metal, said most of the 15,000 employed at its KDC West site are on strike, along with 9,000 at the Beatrix mine. Spot gold gained as much as 0.4 percent to $1,760 an ounce and was at $1,758.45 at 10:14 a.m. in Johannesburg.

The metal is up 10 percent since June 30, set for the biggest quarterly gain since the three months to June 30, 2010.

Strikes at Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s largest producer of the metal, may lead to job losses after at least 21,000 workers downed tools without following the required resolution procedures, Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg Wednesday.

About 20,000 transport industry workers are on strike, the South African Press Association reported today. Strikers set alight two vehicles in Cape Town and Durban, the Johnesburg- based news agency said.

Workers at Coal of Africa Ltd.’s Mooiplaats mine, which employs about 370 people, are also on strike. South Africa’s mining industry employed 498,141 in 2010, according to the Chamber of Mines’ website.

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Almost 100,000 miners and truck drivers are on strike in South Africa, the nation with the largest platinum, chrome, and manganese reserves, as workers demand above-inflation pay increases.
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2012-03-27
 
 

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