(Picture: Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)
Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said its members would down tools on Friday at De Beers after wage talks reached a deadlock.
The diamond producer, a unit of Anglo American [JSE:AGL], is refusing to budge on wage demands set by the union.
NUM said in a statement it was still demanding a 13% wage hike for its members, while the company was offering 6%, just above the current rate of inflation.
The pay dispute with De Beers follows legal channels and so is unlikely to unnerve jittery investors who are more focused on upcoming wage talks in the gold, platinum and coal sectors.
"We had agreement in the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on the broader issues in the wage negotiation. However, several demands from the union, which all have high cost implications... led us to a point where we could not agree on a settlement," said De Beers' lead negotiator Wayne Smerdon on Wednesday.
NUM general secretary Frans Baleni told Reuters on Wednesday that the union was issuing the miner with a strike notice.
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