NUM: Give us decent wages for our manpower

More than 30,000 coal mine workers affiliated to the NUM downed tools over a wage dispute.

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JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says coal mine bosses must pay workers decent wages in exchange for their manpower if they're serious about not prolonging a strike which could see an impact on the electricity supply.

More than 30,000 coal mine workers affiliated to the NUM downed tools yesterday, demanding an increase of at least R1,000 in the lowest category.

Mines affected include Anglo Coal, Glencore and Exxaro Coal in Mpumalanga.

The NUM's Nelson Ratshoshi says, "We are giving the employer our manpower, they must compensate us. They must give us decent salaries in exchange for our power."

Meanwhile, in the gold sector, the Chamber of Mines has confirmed that an agreement has been reached to avoid a strike at the Anglo Gold Ashanti, Harmony and Evander mines.

This is after the NUM, Solidarity and United Association of South Africa (Uasa) signed a deal with the companies on Friday.

But the chamber's chief negotiator Elize Strydom says an agreement has not been reached with Sibanye Gold and talks will continue this week.

"They are prepared to sign the agreement, so we are going to try our utmost during this week to conclude to avoid strike action. So that is where the attention will be."