South African Union Rejects Northam Platinum Wage Offer

(Corrects reference to demonstration in final paragraph.)

South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers said members rejected a wage-raise offer at Northam Platinum Ltd. (NHM), continuing a strike that started Nov. 3.

“We will request the intervention of the board,” Ecliff Tantsi, the union’s negotiator at Northam, said by phone after a mass meeting with members at the company’s Zondereinde mine in the country’s Limpopo province. “We’re planning a demonstration at the head office next week.”

Northam’s Zondereinde operation, which has the world’s deepest platinum mine, was served with a strike notice after the NUM rejected a wage-increase offer of 7 percent to 8 percent, the metals producer said. The union, which has more than 7,000 members at the company, demands an average raise of 61 percent, it said. South Africa, which has the world’s biggest known reserves of platinum.

Northam said two proposals were made before the NUM announced that it would hold the meeting with members today to discuss a revised offer, the union said in a Nov. 5 statement.

The union members rejected an additional 1 percentage-point increase to the previous offer of 7.5 percent to 8 percent, Tantsi said. South Africa’s annual inflation rate was 6 percent in September.

Zondereinde produced 290,675 ounces of metals in concentrate in the year ended June 30, Northam said on Aug. 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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