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AMCU May Not Join South Africa Gold Mine Pay Talks, Chamber Says

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June 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which represents about a fifth of gold miners in South Africa, may not participate in this year’s wage negotiations, the Chamber of Mines said.

“No demands have been received from AMCU as yet,” the Chamber of Mines, which represents the country’s biggest gold producers, said in a statement on its website today. “While we would hope, as an industry, to engage in a single forum, this is not necessarily a forgone conclusion.”

The AMCU, led by Joseph Mathunjwa, is the second-biggest union in South Africa’s gold industry, counting 17.2 percent of workers as its members, the Chamber said. The National Union of Mineworkers, which is aligned with the ruling African National Congress, is the industry’s biggest union with 64.3 percent of miners. Mathunjwa used to be a NUM member before founding AMCU and becoming its president.

“Irrespective of whether negotiations take place in one forum or not, the industry will be taking a common approach,” the Chamber said. Wage talks are expected to take place in the middle of next month.

AMCU officials couldn’t immediately be reached by phone for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in Johannesburg at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

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