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South Africa's NUM threatens strike at Harmony's Phakisa ops

The National Union of Mineworkers, or NUM, served Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.'s Phakisa gold operation in South Africa with a 48-hour strike notice, African News Agency reported Aug. 31.

The labor action could start with the night shift on Sept. 2, as thousands of union members are ready to strike.

"All our attempts to engage peacefully with Harmony failed and therefore left us with no option but to strike," said Tanki Malefane, NUM's regional chairperson.

Malefane added that the union was "fed up and angered" by the miner's conduct of replacing agreements with its policies.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity and UASA declared a dispute with Harmony and Village Main Reef Ltd., but decided to continue discussions with AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd. on Sept. 5.

However, the NUM rejected the new offer Aug. 21 and said it will declare a dispute.

The gold miners tabled an improved offer, which included a wage hike of between 6.2% and 8.2% for category four underground workers, and between 4% and 5% for miners and artisans, and officials, after a unanimous rejection of the previous proposal, but added that it was "conditional on the removal of a number of high-cost demands."