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South Africa Gold Miners to Strike After Rejecting Pay Offer

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Gold Fields Ltd., Africa’s largest producers of the metal, face strike action after workers rejected an improved pay offer, South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers said.

Gold mining companies including AngloGold and Gold Fields offered to raise pay by 5 percent, up from a previous offer of 4 percent, Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the Johannesburg-based union, said today by telephone. Members refused the proposal and are preparing for a walkout, he said.

The NUM and the United Association of South Africa are seeking wage increases of 14 percent, while the Solidarity union is seeking 12 percent. Gold prices have surged 37 percent since the start of last year, spurring unions to demand wage increases in excess of the inflation rate. Consumer prices rose an annual 4.6 percent in May, according to the nation’s statistics office.

The companies will continue pay talks with unions on July 13, the Chamber of Mines said in an e-mailed statement.

“Clearly this matter will not be resolved,” Seshoka said. “We will meet the Chamber of Mines next week to inform them of our intentions to strike.”

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