Members of the National Union of Mineworkers planning to shut down 3 mines

By Agency Reporter

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Friday said it would soon be embarking on a full-blown strike at De beers, Exxaro coal and Petra Diamonds mines after wage talks collapsed.

The union announced its intention to go on strike at these mining companies after it was granted permission by the labor dispute body Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

“This will be a protected strike, operations at those three mines will come to halt unless they come with a better deal,” NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu told Chinese news agency Xinhua.

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The date of the strike would be announced.

Mammburu said NUM at De beers was demanding an 8 percent wage increase across the board while De beers offered 1.5 percent.

“De Beers can afford to pay the wage increases and other benefits that the NUM members are demanding after the company recently recorded a 176 percent jump in rough diamond sales,” Mammburu said.

The union was demanding a 7.5 percent increment at Exxaro even though the company had made an offer of 5 percent. Exxaro is the biggest coal supplier to South Africa’s state-owned power utility.

NUM’s chief negotiator William Mabapa said they were prepared to fight for better increases under the hard economic conditions.

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“It is going to be a big, big fight. Food prices, fuel prices and general inflation had skyrocketed. There is just no room for peanuts increases and for that, we are prepared for war.”