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Impala Platinum Faces Strike of 18,000, Union Says

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July 26 (Bloomberg) -- Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, faces a strike of more than 18,000 workers after talks to resolve a pay dispute failed, South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers said.

Members will vote tomorrow on whether to strike after a second mediation effort by the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on July 24 failed to break a deadlock, the union’s spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said by phone today. Impala spokesman Bob Gilmour wasn’t available when Bloomberg News called his office and mobile phones.

Workers stopped production at Impala’s Rustenburg operations, the world’s biggest platinum mine, for about two weeks last August and September over wages. Impala raised pay by 10 percent to end the strike after it turned violent.

Impala is offering workers 8 percent this year while the NUM is demanding 10 percent in addition to improvements in transport and housing allowances, the union said in a statement today. The consumer price inflation rate was 4.6 percent in May.

Impala fell 0.6 percent to 202.20 rand by 11:09 a.m. in Johannesburg trading.

To contact the reporters on this story: Carli Lourens in Johannesburg at clourens@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amanda Jordan at ajordan11@bloomberg.net.

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