The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), South Africa’s biggest gold-mining labour coalition, rejected Monday a first pay offer proposed by the country’s bullion producers, sticking to its demand for an increase of more than 80%.
South Africa’s gold companies, which bargain collectively under the country’s Chamber of Mines, want to avoid a repeat of last year’s five-month platinum strike. However, their ability to raise salaries is limited as they are already battling low metal prices and mounting electricity costs amid power outages.
“We remain committed to reaching an agreement based on the sustainability of the industry, and the retention of jobs,” the Chamber of Mines said in a statement on behalf of gold producers including AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), (JSE:ANG), Harmony Gold (NYSE:HMY), (JSE:HAR) and Sibanye Gold (NYSE:SBGL), (JSE:SGL).
It is estimated that the sector employs about 94,000 workers in South Africa.
According to the chamber, costs for gold miners between 2008 and 2014 jumped on average more 20% annually. Production over the past decade, instead, has steadily fallen by roughly 8% per year.
Those miners are going to strike themselves out of a job position. In the late 1960’s in California’ tomatoes growing farms, there was a strike by the migrant labor for higher wages.
They also went on strike for better working conditions (which is a good thing), but only to the workers that were left after automation eliminated thousands of jobs.
Anyway: The tomato growers got together with the colleges to produce a tomato that had a “tougher” skin that was not as delicate as the old variety and could be handled by machines.
Now instead of close to a work crew of a hundred or so (I made up that number) the crew consists of the people who drive the machine that shakes the tomato plant so the tomato falls to the ground and another driver who operates a machine that scoops them off of the ground into a bin. There are of course other workers but it is in the dozens and not in the hundreds.
The point being, that the gold miners (I am sure) are working on technology to replace as many of the mining positions as possible.
we hope for a Heavy strike both in gold and platinum mines soon…….the metalprices just falling