The biggest mining unions at Sibanye-Stillwater voted to strike at its gold operations until their wage demands are met, one of the groups said after a collective gathering of members.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, UASA and Solidarity, met in Carletonville, about 79 km southwest of Johannesburg, to discuss pay negotiations.
The members rejected the latest offer by Sibanye to increase monthly wages R700 annually for three years and are demanding R1 000 for the same period, said NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu. The start of a strike hasn’t been decided, but will occur after notice is served on Monday, he said.
The NUM and AMCU, which have had a longstanding rivalry resulting in sometimes violent clashes as they campaigned to win or retain membership, are the biggest unions in the gold sector. Along with the two other groups they demanded in September an increase of R1 500 a month, which Sibanye described as unaffordable and said that it would result in the early closure of shafts. The labour groups early this year were granted a certificate to strike.
Sibanye’s Beatrix, Driefontein and Kloof mines employ about 31 000 workers in an industry that’s struggling to curb costs amid the geological challenges of the world’s deepest mines.