Biggest South African Gold Union Keeps 80% Pay-Increase Demand

South Africa’s biggest gold-industry union said its demand that entry-level pay be raised by at least 80 percent remains unchanged after producers modified some terms of their offer.

While AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Harmony Gold Mining Co. submitted to one union’s request that they raise the retirement age of surface workers to 63, they haven’t amended the offer to increase pay by as much as 13 percent.

“Our members want a living wage,” Livhuwani Mammburu, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers, which represents about 52 percent of gold employees, said by phone. The inflation rate was 4.6 percent in May.

The NUM, UASA and Solidarity unions continue the wage negotiations Wednesday with the Chamber of Mines, a lobby group for the companies. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which speaks for 30 percent of the 94,500 gold workers at the companies, will meet separately with the chamber after it declared a deadlock to the talks last week.

The AMCU disputes the union-representation figures and will meet with the companies on Friday to discuss the issue, Manzini Zungu, a spokesman for the union, said by phone.

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