NUM gives Chamber of Mines ultimatum in wage dispute

The union says coal workers won't accept a three-year wage deal, instead, they want a once off payment for this year and an 8% wage increase for 2018.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has given the Chamber of Mines until next week Wednesday to accept its wage demands, with a strike on the cards if an agreement is not reached.

The union says coal workers won't accept a three-year wage deal, instead, they want a once off payment for this year and an 8% wage increase for 2018.

NUM's Livhuwani Mammburu said: “The reason why we feel that we are tired of the Chamber is because since July when the negotiation started, they are arrogant and they are negotiating in bad faith. And we feel that we can’t stand this behaviour anymore because we feel that they are undermining and disrespecting the workers.”

The Chamber represents firms such as Anglo American Coal, Exxaro and Glencore.

A strike in the coal sector could affect power supply as the lion’s share of electricity in Africa’s most industrialised economy is generated from coal.

The mining sector has in the past been marred by labour unrest that cost it billions of dollars in lost output.