Glencore holding coal wage talks to ransom - NUM | Fin24

Glencore holding coal wage talks to ransom - NUM

Oct 09 2015 17:11
Siseko Njobeni and Reuters

(Photo: iStock)

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Johannesburg - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday that its five-day strike in the coal sector would continue due to an impasse with mining group Glencore [JSE:GLN], dashing hopes that it was on the verge of ending.

"This morning when we were supposed to reconvene, there was one outstanding company, which has done nothing and that is Glencore. They are the ones holding the whole process to ransom," said Peter Bailey, NUM's chief coal sector negotiator.

Coal workers, aligned to NUM, have been on strike since Sunday in demand for higher wages.

The Chamber of Mines and NUM were scheduled to meet on Friday morning to resume their negotiations to end the strike after the union rejected the chamber's offer on Thursday, according to NUM.

Bailey told Fin24 on Friday morning that the chamber, which is negotiating on behalf of affected coal companies, tabled an offer on Thursday in a bid to end the stand-off between several coal companies and their employees over higher wages.

"We felt that their offer was not good enough. They went back to revise it. We will be discussing the revised offer this morning," Bailey said.

He was, however, optimistic that the parties were making progress. "All indications are that we are edging closer to a deal but I do not want to jump the gun yet," he said.

Coal workers on Sunday went on strike over higher wages. The strike has affected Anglo Coal, Exxaro Coal, Glencore and other coal companies.

On whether the coal strike is impacting Eskom's coal supply, the power utility on Thursday reiterated to Fin24 that it has enough coal stockpiles at its power stations.

"We have coal stockpiles of over 30 days at most of our power stations and we thus do not anticipate that the strike will have an impact on our ability to generate electricity at this stage," Eskom said.

Eskom said on Friday the power system was constrained and the risk of load shedding was high from as early as 06:00 until 22:00 due to a shortage of generation capacity.

Some of Eskom's generating units tripped on Thursday and on Friday morning, according to the utility.

South African consumers have experienced only over 2 hours of load shedding in the last 61 days.

num  |  glencore  |  strike


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