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South Africa's coal workers on strike from November 19

Staff Writer |
South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers will begin a strike over wages in the coal sector on November 19.

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According to the Chamber of Mines, the companies involved in the negotiations, which include Anglo Coal, Delmas Coal, Exxaro, and Glencore, account for about half of South Africa's coal production and employ 14,000 people, 20 percent of the labour force in the sector.

NUM represents about 70 percent of these employees, the chamber said.

The two sides are not far apart. The larger companies have offered a staggered increase of 1100 rand ($76) for year one for lower-paid employees, and an increase of 7.5 percent for the higher categories.

The smaller companies have offered increases ranging from 5 to 7.5 percent. The union has been demanding a once-off payment of 1,100 rand this year and an 8 percent increase for 2018.

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