• National Union of Mineworkers represents 53% of gold workers
  • Some members are still being polled by union leadership

Most National Union of Mineworkers members polled so far by the South African labor group’s leadership are ready to accept a wage offer tabled this week by the country’s biggest gold companies, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Some members oppose the deal while others are yet to give their feedback, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the results haven’t been made public. NUM will inform AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd. and Harmony Gold Mining Co. on Sept. 21 of its decision to accept or reject the offer.

NUM represents 53 percent of employees working in South Africa’s biggest gold mines, while the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union speaks for 31 percent of workers. NUM General Secretary David Sipunzi said Sept. 15 he’s recommending members accept the companies’ offer to raise guaranteed pay for entry-level workers by as much as 32 percent over three years. Annual inflation in South Africa is currently 5 percent.

The producers are seeking to avoid a repeat of last year’s five-month strike at platinum mines that crippled production, stifled economic growth and led to job losses.

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