Friday, October 5, 2012

South African Mine Strike Spreads To More Mines

As many as 75,000 miners are already on strike. This equates
to about 15 percent of South Africa's mining sector's total workforce.

JOHANNESBURG (REUTERS)- Since Wednesday the mine strike has spread to a new sector: iron ore and it has hit another gold firm. Kumba an industrial unit of the global miner Anglo American, said the mine strike at its giant Sishen Mine in the Northern Cape involved 300 employees. It was limited to one area in the open cast mine, leaving most of the facility unaffected. Kumba is one of the world's top 10 iron ore producers. It produced 41.3 million tonnes of ore in 2011. Kumba's share price dropped more than 4 percent.

The strike is also testing President Jacob Zuma's leadership. The president is under fire for failing to address and contain the workers' protests demanding wage increases. There are glaring wealth inequalities persisting in South Africa since the end of the apartheid in 1994. Source: South Africa Wildcat Strikes Spread To More Mines (Reliability: High)

Comment: The spreading of labor unrest has raised fears that the country could see a repeat of the stand-off with police at Lonmin's platinum mine in August that led to the shooting of 34 miners. It was South Africa's bloodiest security incident since the end of the apartheid in 1994.

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