November 19, 2018 / 11:49 AM / 3 months ago

Union to strike at Sibanye-Stillwater's South African gold operations

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Sibanye-Stillwater said on Monday that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) planned to strike on Wednesday at its South African gold operations after wage agreement talks broke down.

Sibanye-Stillwater, which had signed a three-year wage agreement with three other labor unions, said AMCU represents 43 percent of its workforce of 32,200 at its South African gold operations.

Gold producers in Africa’s most industrialized economy have argued that above-inflation wage hikes have added to the cost burden in the bullion industry, which has been hit by depressed prices and labor unrest. South Africa’s inflation stood at 4.9 percent in September.

Sibanye agreed to a three-year wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and UASA last week ending months of negotiations.

Sibanye said it would not be increasing its offer to AMCU and would not pay striking workers. It also said it could not yet predict the impact of any strike on its output.

AMCU officials were not immediately able to comment.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by James Macharia

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