South Africa’s National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) will meet management at Impala Platinum on Friday for further wage talks as its members vote on a possible strike, a union official said.
The NUM is demanding a 10% pay rise across the board and R1 700 in housing allowance. Impala, the world’s second-largest platinum producer, has offered 7,5% pay rise for workers in the high income bracket and 8% for those in the lower category.
“Impala asked for a quick meeting. We expect them to improve the offer … now you can see that the heat is on,” NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters. “Our members are busy being balloted for a [strike] action.”
A conciliator met Impala management and the NUM on Monday in a bid to avert the strike, which could harm output, but the talks collapsed after the company declined to raise its offer.
The workers started voting on a strike on Thursday but the union has yet to get a majority vote.
“The votes for the bigger Impala branches have not yet trickled in and those are the deciding branches. The smaller branches have already indicated that they want a strike action,” Seshoka said.
Africa’s biggest economy has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats in both the private and public sector this year that have led to above-inflation settlements, raising fears that the cost of living will rise.
South Africa’s inflation rate slowed to 4,2% in June. – Reuters