'We are going to strike, there is no question about it' – SA union spokesman
After yet another round of failed wage negotiations on Wednesday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – which represents 64% of the country's mine workers – announced it will ballot its members this week to decide on possible strike actionm, Reuters reports.
Labour organizations and mining companies have made practically no progress in negotiations which are running well into their second month. The only noteworthy agreement reached recently involved platinum-producer Lonmin's recognition of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) as a majority union.
"We will go and consult with our members and put it to a vote," a NUM spokesman told Reuters. "We are going to strike, there is no question about it, I just can't say when."
In a Tweet on Wednesday NUM accused companies of "using blackmail to weaken current wage negotiations."
Last week the union rejected an offer to increase wages by 5.5% – well below their demand of a 60% raise.
The country's Chamber of Mines – a negotiating body for the companies – is still trying to reach an agreement with the AMCU, which despite recent membership gains still does not represent the majority of South African gold miners.
Aside from wages, mineworkers are also fighting for their jobs. On Tuesday 2,000 workers started protesting after Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) (LON:AAL) – the world's largest pltainum producer – announced it would cut 6,900 jobs.
Image from Chamber of Mines of South Africa