Gold Fields, union in talks

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west Rand - Officials from Gold Fields' KDC gold mine on the West Rand and the NUM met amid a strike on Tuesday, the company said.

“There has been a series of meetings between us and various groupings within the (National Union of Mineworkers) NUM and the national leadership of NUM to resolve the issues,” spokesman Sven Lunsche said.

“At the moment, it is too early to say if we have reached the progress we were hoping for.”

Lunsche said the strike was continuing on Tuesday afternoon.

“We expect it to continue tomorrow, but we hope to resolve it in the next few days.”

The NUM was not immediately available for comment.

About 12,000 employees at the mine in Westonaria had been striking since Wednesday, the mine said. Lunsche said it appeared the strike was due to an internal dispute within the local branch leaders of the NUM and its members.

On Monday, expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema told the striking miners that workers should lead themselves when labour unions neglected them.

“Leaders of the NUM should know that you can't act for workers without consulting them, and don't take workers for granted.

“If they fail you, you must lead yourself,” Malema said to cheers from the miners. They wanted the NUM's local leadership to resign.

He told his audience to continue fighting for better wages.

The African National Congress in the OR Tambo region, in the Eastern Cape, had declared that the minimum monthly wage for mine workers across the country should be R12 500, he said.

Workers wielded sticks and sang songs when Malema arrived in a black Mercedes-Benz. - Sapa

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