Johannesburg - Workers have embarked on an illegal strike at mine run by world No. 3 gold producer AngloGold Ashanti
[JSE:ANG], a company spokesperson said on Friday, signalling spreading labour
unrest in the mining sector.
“The night shift embarked on an unprotected strike at
Kopanang and the morning shift didn’t go down either,” company spokesperson
Alan Fine said.
Fine said the mine has 5 000 workers and the strikers had
not yet communicated their demands to the company.
A spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers said
the strikers wanted a wage of R12 500 a month, mirroring demands at other
mines. This is about triple the amount earned as basic pay at the bottom end of
the wage scale.
The AngloGold disruption comes a day after thousands
reported back for work at platinum producer Lonmin [JSE:LON] after a wage hike deal was
reached to end six weeks of industrial action and protest in which 45 people
Lonmin said the wage settlement would add 14% to its wage
bill from October 1, a huge strain on a company battling with an already shaky
balance sheet and rising costs on other fronts.
Workers at the world’s top platinum producer Anglo Platinum
[JSE:AMS] and bullion producer Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] are also on illegal
strikes over pay.
Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said she was concerned the
Lonmin settlement could set a precedent for future wage demands across the
country, spurring broader inflation.
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