Coal miners wage strike looming

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File: NUM president Joseph Montisetsi has accused the government of using independent power producers to collapse Eskom.

Members of the South African National Union of Mineworkers from the Gold mining sector, demonstrate in front of the South Africa Chamber of Mines as they hand over a memorandum to its leadership on September 5, 2015 in Johannesburg.

JOHANNESBURG – Coal miners affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) are set to go on strike, after being granted a strike certificate by the CCMA.

A strike in the coal sector could affect power supply to the country. The proposed strike follows deadlocked wage negotiations.

The union says it’s given the Chamber of Mines until next Wednesday to change their current wage offer. The wage offers vary depending on the company--- from 5 percent to 7, 5 percent. 

READ: NUM to march against Sibanye retrenchments

Some of the mining companies are also proposing once-off payments as part of the wage offers. The union is demanding a once-off payment of R1, 100 this year followed by an 8-percent increase next year.

“These negotiations started in July… now it’s towards the end of the year,” said Luvhuwani Mammburu of NUM.

“The chamber is dragging so long, they are arrogant and negotiating in bad faith. Our members feel we can’t allow a situation where the wage negotiations drag on for so long. That’s why they mandated us to get a certificate if the chamber keeps on being arrogant.”