The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday its members had downed tools at the Glencore operated Koornfontein coal mine in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa over a pay dispute. 

The NUM said in a statement the strike began on Friday after talks brokered by a government mediator were deadlocked.

Mine restructuring

The strike by the National Union of Mineworkers ‘follows the decision by the company to offer retrenchment packages to employees as a result of restructuring at the mine, following difficult market conditions’, Gugulethu Maqetuka, a spokesman for the company’s South African operations, told media.

NUM regional secretary Stanley Lebello said around 600 of the union’s members were taking part in the strike, which he said was triggered by a dispute over the structuring of packages for employees who face lay-offs.

Strikes at other operations

Lebello said the union was also seeking permission to launch protest strikes at other Glencore operations.

Glencore offers more compensation elsewhere, stated the union. “NUM is embarking on a strike because Glencore is paying NUM members at Koornfontein Mine one week of service per year and in other operations it is paying three weeks,” the union said in a statement.

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