Feb 14 (Reuters) – South African mining company Sibanye-Stillwater on Monday said it will meet unions this week over a looming strike at its gold operations in the country after some workers backed a walkout.
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which has been mediating between the two sides, cleared the unions to give strike notice a month ago after declaring a stalemate in wage talks.
A Sibanye spokesperson said a meeting with unions would take place this week, but did not specify a date.
South Africa’s major unions, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and UASA have been negotiating as a united coalition for the first time.
NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu told Reuters on Monday that a Sunday meeting of NUM, AMCU, and UASA workers had voted to reject Sibanye’s latest wage offer.
“They rejected it. The majority voted to embark on a strike,” Mammburu said.
He added that the coalition of unions would only serve Sibanye with a 48-hour strike notice after meeting the company’s management if the deadlock remains.
Sibanye’s final offer, tabled on Feb.4, would increase underground workers’ wages by 800 rand a month ($52.76) in each of the three years under negotiation. Other categories, including artisans and officials, would get 5% increases over the same period.
Mammburu said the unions’ demand of 1,000 rand a month ($65.95) increases for each of the three years remained unchanged.
($1 = 15.1621 rand)