Strike halts Village Main Reef mine
Johannesburg - Village Main Reef said on Friday that gold and antimony production at its Consolidated Murchison Mine in South Africa had stopped after workers started an illegal strike.
The strike over share-based payments began at the end of the day shift on Wednesday, the eve of industry-wide wage talks between gold producers and trade unions.
Police in the northern province of Limpopo said they are “on alert” after 200 miners on the surface joined the demonstration by 134 workers underground.
“No incidents have been reported but the police are keeping a close eye on the situation,” spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
Village Main Reef is one of seven gold producers represented by the industry body in the two-yearly wage negotiations that started on Thursday.
This round of talks has been billed as the toughest since the end of apartheid, with demands for a doubling of basic pay set against collapsing bullion prices and shrinking profit margins.
The talks normally take two months but this year they are expected to drag out because of a vicious union turf war that sparked strikes last year in which producers lost billions of dollars of output and some workers were killed. - Reuters