* Mine unions demanding 50 pct pay rise
* Mine firms not ready to give over 12 pct hike
LUSAKA Nov 26 Mine unions in Zambia are
demanding a 50 percent pay rise, far above the 12 percent
increase offered by companies, which could lead to labour unrest
in Africa's top copper producer, a source close to the
negotiations said on Monday.
Zambia's largest mining union, the Mine Workers Union of
Zambia, confirmed it was in talks with Glencore's
Mopani Copper Mines, Vedanta's Konkola Copper Mines and
Jinchuan's Chibuluma mine over 2013 pay increases,
but declined to comment on the figures.
"These talks are likely to be difficult and labour unrest
cannot be ruled out. The mines are trying to keep their costs
low and the unions and trying to get the best for the miners,"
the source said.
Zambia's Industrial Relations Court in September awarded
workers at First Quantum Minerals a 13 percent increase
this year and 12 percent in 2013 following a pay dispute.
"The mining companies are saying they cannot pay more than
the court ordered (First Quantum's) Kansanshi mine to pay its
workers in 2013," the source added.
Mines and the unions in Africa's top copper producer opened
talks for 2013 pay in October and the negotiations are expected
to be concluded by the end of December.
South Africa's gold and platinum mining industries have been
battered this year by months of wildcat strikes and often deadly
labour unrest that has led to the deaths of more than 50 people.