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NUM gives Northam mine 48 hours notice

The union has given the mining company until Sunday to reach a wage agreement or face strike action.

The union has given the mining company until Sunday to reach a wage agreement or face strike action.

JOHANNESBURG -The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it will give Northam Platinum mine until Sunday to table a better wage demand or face industrial action.

Over 7,000 members of the union will down tools at the mine from Sunday night if their demands are not met.

NUM gave the company a 48 hour notice on Thursday of its intention to strike, which is a legal requirement, but says it is willing to continue talks.

The union released a statement on Friday morning saying it is "now determined to strike at Northam".

NUM is demanding the company raise wages by between 22 percent and 43 percent, depending on the level of employees and increase housing allowances by 69 percent.

Northam, a mid-tier producer, says it has improved its offer to include increases of seven and eight percent in the first year above the current inflation rate of six percent.

The dispute involves the workforce at Northam's Zondereinde operation which accounts for the vast majority of its annual production of 300,000 ounces a year.

Northam's looming stoppage comes as NUM's hardline rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) prepares for a strike against top producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin which could hit at least half of global output.