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Union plans to strike in gold sector

Oct 12 2015 06:48
Paul Burkhardt

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union members. (File: Mujahid Safadien, AFP)

Company Data

Sibanye Gold Limited [JSE:SGL]

Last traded 20
Change 1
% Change 6
Cumulative volume 21367836
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

HARMONY GOLD MINING COMPANY LIMITED [JSE:HAR]

Last traded 48
Change 3
% Change 6
Cumulative volume 1767015
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LIMITED [JSE:ANG]

Last traded 305
Change 8
% Change 3
Cumulative volume 1229333
Market cap 0

Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Johannesburg - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is ready to strike for higher wages, the group’s leader said on Sunday.

“Today all the members of Amcu have agreed overwhelmingly that we are prepared to go on a protected strike in pursuit of the living wage” at AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] and Sibanye Gold [JSE:SGL], president Joseph Mathunjwa told reporters after a rally near Johannesburg.

He said that the timing of any action hadn’t been decided. “You need to prepare for a strike,” he said.

Thousands of members at the stadium voted in favour of the labour action by a show of hands.

Sibanye is willing to continue negotiations with the union, which is one of four representing workers in the nation’s mining industry, Mathunjwa said.

“Employees are starting to receive their increased salaries and back pay” following the agreement, Charmane Russell, a spokesperson for the companies, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Should the union indicate its intention to proceed with industrial action, an interdict will be sought to have the strike declared unprotected.”

The producers believe a settlement can still be reached, and that most employees don’t want to strike, Russell said. "The principle of no work, no pay will apply."

The National Union of Mineworkers, UASA and Solidarity signed a three-year agreement on October 2 with AngloGold and Harmony. The Amcu refused to sign.

Sibanye, the top producer of South African bullion, has required all four unions to sign the wage agreement for it to take effect.

The Amcu, which led the longest strike in South Africa’s mining history at platinum producers last year, has demanded wages of R12 500 a month for entry-level workers. That would be more than double current pay.

Gold producers have limited their offers, citing escalating production costs and declining prices that are hurting profits.

South Africa’s inflation rate was 4.6% in August.

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