South African Coal Producers Meet Over Options Amid Strikeby
Employers to meet with biggest labor union on Thursday
NUM started strike on Sunday after rejecting pay offer
South Africa’s biggest coal producers are meeting to discuss their next steps after the largest labor union for the industry started a strike on Sunday over pay.
"The demand that’s on the table can’t be met," Charmane Russell, a spokeswoman for the producers, said in a phone interview. "The companies are meeting to discuss a way forward."
Employers, including Anglo American Plc, Glencore Plc and Exxaro Resources Ltd., will meet with the National Union of Mineworkers on Thursday, she said in an e-mail.
The strike, the first such action related to wage negotiations in coal since 2011, came after the NUM last week rejected an offer to raise basic salaries for the lowest-paid workers by 5.5 percent to 8.5 percent. The union wants increases of 12 percent to 13 percent.
The country’s coal-mining industry directly employs almost 90,000 people and paid about 19 billion rand ($1.4 billion) in wages in 2014. The price of South African export coal has dropped 28 percent in the past year.