Trouble brewing in South Africa’s gold mining sector

Trouble brewing in South Africa’s gold mining sector

Amcu platinum sector workers march during last year’s strike. (Image from archives)

South Africa's radical Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is planning to start wildcat strike in the gold sector if its rival union and mining companies extend wage deal to its members.

"If NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) and Chamber of Mines want extend their deal to us, we will sit down whether it's legal or not. We will strike," Amcu’s President, Joseph Mathunjwa, said Sunday, Reuters reports.

The Amcu is the same union that last year led a five-month strike that crippled the country’s platinum industry.

Its members are demanding to be paid more than double at gold mining firms including AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) (NYSE:AU) and Harmony Gold (JSE:HAR) (NYSE:HMY).

According to the country’s labour law, deals between the majority union and employers can be extended to smaller unions.

South Africa's annual season of labour strikes often turns violent, but a recent wave of deadly xenophobic attacks has heightened fears that this year's protests could fuel further aggression towards migrant workers.