S. African Union May Complete Gold, Coal Wage Demands This Week

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which has emerged as a rival to South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers, said it may complete wage demands for gold and coal producers this week.

“We are working on finalizing the submission to be taken to the Chamber of Mines,” Jeff Mphahlele, general secretary of the AMCU, said by phone. “This should be done perhaps by the end of this week.”

South African gold and coal companies, working through the chamber, are due to start negotiations with unions in the middle of this month. The NUM has asked for employees who operate at the surface of mines to be increased by as much as 61 percent, and for gains of 15 percent in other worker categories.

The AMCU has grown to displace NUM as the organization representing most workers in South Africa’s platinum belt, home to the world’s richest deposits of the metal. The AMCU, which represents 70 percent of lower-category workers at Lonmin Plc, the world’s third-biggest, remains in talks for an agreement with the company on being recognized as the majority union among its employees, Mphahlele said.

“We are still at loggerheads,” Mphahlele said.

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