JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s labor unrest widened on Thursday as tens of thousands of construction workers prepared to down tools next week and unions in the gold sector also signaled their intention to call a strike over wages.
The escalating industrial action spelled more trouble for Africa’s largest economy, which was hit last year by a wave of violent wildcat strikes in the mining sector that cost billions of dollars in lost output, dented growth, and triggered damaging sovereign credit downgrades.
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers said on Wednesday it would ballot its
members this week on whether to go on strike after gold miners’
wage talks stalled, raising the prospect of crippling stoppages
in an industry in terminal decline.
“We will go and consult with our members and put it to a
vote. We are going to strike, there is no question about it, I
just can’t say when,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Six weeks of wage talks
between South African gold producers and unions have failed to
bridge the chasm between their positions, increasing the
prospect of crippling strikes in a declining industry battling
low prices and soaring costs.
Gold mine stoppages would inflict more damage on Africa’s
largest economy, which is already losing $60 million a day to a
strike by 30,000 workers in the car manufacturing sector that
accounts for 6 percent of gross domestic product.
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Anglo American Platinum
(Amplats) said it planned almost 7,000 job cuts at its South
African operations including thousands of compulsory lay-offs,
drawing an angry response from a labour union and raising the
risk of renewed unrest at its mines.
Amplats, the world’s top platinum producer and a
unit of Anglo American, had aimed for 14,000 job cuts
after posting its first loss last year, but lowered the target
after a backlash from the government and the unions, which
organised a series of strikes.
JOHANNESBURG, July 10 (Reuters) – “A living wage” is the
battle cry of South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (AMCU) as it and rival unions plunge into pay
talks this month with mining houses.
But what is a living wage for a South African miner?
Finding a definition, no easy task, has become the goal of
an increasingly militant labour force demanding pay increases
ranging from 15 to 150 percent, which mining companies can ill
afford as precious metals prices tumble and costs surge.
KROMDRAAI/JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – A hand drill lying in the hillside tunnel of a 19th-century South African gold mine testifies to the back-breaking labour by black miners that built what was once the world’s biggest bullion industry.
But even with basic tools and cheap labour, costs overran returns at the Kromdraai gold mine north of Johannesburg, which listed in London in 1893 and closed in 1914.
KROMDRAAI/JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – A hand drill lying in the hillside tunnel of a 19th-century South African gold mine testifies to the back-breaking labor by black miners that built what was once the world’s biggest bullion industry.
But even with basic tools and cheap labor, costs overran returns at the Kromdraai gold mine north of Johannesburg, which listed in London in 1893 and closed in 1914.
JOHANNESBURG, July 2 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack
Obama’s $7 billion plan to shine “light where currently there’s
darkness” in Africa by doubling access to power on the world’s
poorest continent was billed as a highlight of his African tour.
He announced the Power Africa initiative in Cape Town on
Sunday in a speech which he also urged the fast-growing but
still troubled region to follow the shining example of South
Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.
JOHANNESBURG, June 28 (Reuters) – A South African union gave
Glencore Xstrata a seven-day ultimatum on Friday to
rehire more than 1,000 workers fired at chrome mines for wildcat
protests or face unspecified action.
The protests, launched in solidarity with a worker who said
he was assaulted by a supervisor in an incident which has taken
on racial overtones, are part of a wave of labour unrest that
has shaken the mining sector in the world’s top platinum
KAMPALA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the majestic Nile river and boasts some of Africa’s wildlife treasures – elephants, lions and a rare giraffe sub-species.
Beneath it lies another natural prize: oil. Now French energy giant Total has begun surveys to prepare for seismic tests in the national park, one of Uganda’s last great wilderness areas, as a prelude to probable crude production.