Glencore responsible for extension of coal strike in S. Africa — union

Glencore responsible for coal strike in S. Africa, says union

Glencore is one of the biggest exporters of South African coal.

The largest labour union at South Africa’s top coal producers is blaming mining and commodities giant Glencore (LON:GLEN) for bringing talks to end a wage strike in the coal sector to a "complete halt".

According to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Swiss-based company is the one “holding the whole process to ransom,” Reuters reports.

The comment comes barely a day after the union said a deal was just around the corner.

Wage talks in South Africa’s gold and coal sectors have continued for months as mining companies face declining commodity prices and growing competition between unions.

Almost 30,000 coal workers downed tools on Oct. 4 at operations run by Anglo American (LON:AAL), Exxaro Resources (JSE:EXX), Glencore (LON:GLEN) and some minor local producers, after unions rejected the companies’ latest offer to increase basic salaries for the lowest-paid categories by 5.5% to 8.5%.

NUM wants increases of 12% to 13% for the sector, which directly employs about 90,000 people and paid roughly $1.39 billion (19 billion rand) in wages last year, according to the country’s Chamber of Mines.