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Coal Strike in South Africa Called Off

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Members of the Solidarity union in the coal mining sector have called off the three day strike. This comes after the industrial action by some 3,000 coal workers failed to force coal mining companies to give in to the union’s demand of a 10% wage increase for artisans in the industry.

While things are expected to return to normal at the few affected mines across the country, gold miners and car makers could be in for a possible strike action in the coming month.

Early this week, several thousand Solidarity members downed tools at coal mines across the country. There was little disruption. Now the Solidarity union called on its members to return to work after talks with the coal mining companies. Solidarity spokesperson, Jaco Kleynhans, says: “… A task team will be appointed and it will have six months to work on improving the remuneration of skilled workers, specifically artisans.”

Gold and metal industry talks fail
Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers’ meeting with employers in the gold mining sector has failed to produce a resolution to the ongoing wage dispute.

The union is demanding a 15% increment for its members. Employers are offering 8%. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is also planning a massive strike in the automotive industry early next week. This follows the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Association’s refusal to accept a settlement proposal of 9% across the board for workers.

Numsa spokesperson, Mziwakhe Hlangani, said: “All our members are preparing to go out on a major strike.”

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