NUM plans to start coal strike end of next week | Fin24
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NUM plans to start coal strike end of next week

Nov 10 2017 18:32
Carin Smith and Jan Cronje

Cape Town - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) plans to start a coal strike on Sunday 19 November, its spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu told Fin24 on Friday.

Mammburu said the union plans to give notice to the Chamber of Mines in this regard by Thursday, in order to comply with the legal requirements for a strike.

"We are open to negotiations if the chamber stops being arrogant. We have always been open to being flexible and to speak to chamber. We are going on strike because of the arrogance of the chamber and its undermining of workers," he said by phone.

In an email, the Chamber of Mines confirmed that NUM had obtained a certificate of non-resolution from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

This means the union can proceed on protected strike action.

Neither the Chamber nor any of the coal companies it represents had received a notice of impending strike action from the union yet, the Chamber said late on Friday afternoon.

Such a notice is required to be given to an employer at least 48 hours in advance of any contemplated action.

The Chamber said it remains hopeful that the parties can reach an amicable resolution to the current wage dispute.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the Chamber of Mines, which represents Anglo American’s coal unit and Glencore, met with NUM on Wednesday.

Following a number of revised offers during negotiations that started in July, the companies put forward a three-year deal last month. The Chamber called the proposal "fair and reasonable" and said coal workers are among the highest paid in the SA mining industry.

The union has maintained demands for a one-time payment of R1 100 rand, an 8% pay increase for 2018 and 9% for the following year, the labour group said.

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