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Unionized workers to strike at Randgold, Resolute, Robex gold mines in Mali

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Unionized workers to strike at Randgold, Resolute, Robex gold mines in Mali

Unionized workers in Mali will go on a five-day strike starting Oct. 24 over alleged victimization by employers over their affiliation with the National Section of Mines and Industries, or Secnami, union, Bloomberg News reported Oct. 11, citing Mahamadou Konte, a union spokesman.

The strike action will be effective at mines operated by gold producers including Resolute Mining Ltd. and Robex Resources Inc.

Meanwhile, the union is also in a dispute with Randgold Resources Ltd. over unpaid productivity bonuses.

"Some of them may get fired, while others were refused a contract renewal," Konte told Bloomberg.

Randgold CEO Mark Bristow said the company was aware of the pending strike and has been engaged in talks with the unions on its mines, while noting that there is a process to be followed.

"It's a grievance procedure and we'll deal with it," Bristow said. "Unions have a right to strike."

The proposed strike by Secnami, which represents about 80% of the mining industry's workforce in the country, would disrupt mining production.

Randgold operates the Loulo and Morila gold mines, Resolute runs the Syama gold mine and Robex owns the producing Nampala gold mine in Mali. Nampala started generating positive cash flows in September.

The Malian government shut down Randgold offices last week and seized the company's bank accounts, over allegations of about US$80 million in unpaid taxes. The miner said earlier this week that the move did not impact its mining operations in the country.