LafargeHolcim South Africa Workers Plan Strike, Union Saysby
South African workers at LafargeHolcim Ltd. plan to strike on Thursday over a demand for wage and benefit increases at the local operations of the world’s biggest cement maker.
The National Union of Mineworkers, which started pay talks with the Franco-Swiss company in October, is demanding a salary increase of 13 percent and benefits including a housing grant, Petrus Mositi, a shop steward for the union, said by phone on Wednesday. About 800 workers are planning to strike after the labor group and company couldn’t reach an agreement “on several matters,” Lafarge South Africa, as the local unit is known, said in a statement.
“We can still work this issue out depending on availability and willingness to find a solution,” Mositi said. The strike is scheduled to start with the night shift on Thursday.
The company has a cement plant and two grinding facilities in South Africa with a production capacity of 3.6 million metric tons a year, according to a 2014 presentation on its website.
“We have put contingency plans in place and will monitor the situation closely,” Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, a Lafarge South Africa spokeswoman, said in the company’s statement. “We are committed to negotiating with our employees until an agreement is reached as soon as possible.”