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June 7, 2015

South African workers’ union plans strike over wages

Strikes are being planned by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in South Africa over a wage deal.

Strikes are being planned by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in South Africa over a wage deal.

AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa said the strike would be launched in case the wage deal agreed between National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and gold mining companies is extended to its members.

Mathunjwa told Reuters: "If NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) and Chamber of Mines want to extend their deal to us, we will sit down, whether it’s legal or not. We will strike."

There is a chance that wage deals between the majority union and employers can be extended to smaller unions, according to the country’s labour laws.

AMCU is demanding more wages from AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, Harmony Gold and Pan African Resource’s Evander Mines.

In 2014, AMCU led a wage strike for five months in the platinum sector.

The previous pay agreement for a period of two years is set to expire during this month at a time when wage talks for gold sector may begin.

The NUM, which has 54% of members in the gold mining sector, signed a wage deal in 2013 and extended it to AMCU.

NUM is demanding an 84% wage hike for its members.

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