NUM says 80,000 to strike

Workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers will down tools on Tuesday.

FILE: National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary Frans Baleni. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says 80,000 of its members in the gold sector are ready to down tools from Tuesday as they continue their fight for higher wages.

Last week, the union rejected a final pay offer made by the Chamber of Mines (CoM).

The NUM labelled the offer as a joke and threatened massive industrial action.

CoM offered increases of between 6 and 6.5 percent.

The NUM is the first mining union to go on strike over wages this year.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Unions (Amcu), the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) and Solidarity are yet to decide on the offer.

The NUM says its members will hold mass meetings at all the gold companies across the country shortly after the nightshift starts.

The NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the strike would be "indefinite."

"They will be gathering outside and toyi-toying until they leave for home. And then the following day, the strike will start in the morning as normal and continue."

CoM chief negotiator Elize Strydom said she believed their wage offer was fair considering "the financial realities within which the mining industry finds itself."