Agreement reached to end strike at South Africa's coal mine

Agreement reached to end strike at South Africa
# 24 March 2013 03:17 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. An agreement has been reached between Exxaro Resources Limited and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to end a prolonged strike that had been threatening coal supply in South Africa, it was announced on Saturday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Under the agreement, striking workers at the Matla, Arnot, Grootegeluk, Leeuwpan, Inyanda and Reductants coal mines will return to work on Monday, Exxaro said.

The employees will each be paid a minimum 2,800 rand (about 304 U.S. dollars) in respect of quarter one of the company's 2013 short term incentive, the company said.

The strikes over non-payment of performance bonuses first started at Matla and Arnot in Mpumalanga Province on March 5 and later spread to other mines.

The company said it failed to pay the bonuses "due to the operations having not achieved performance targets."

The "no-work-no-pay" principle applied during the strike, the company said.

The NUM has confirmed the news, but said it did not initiate the unprotected strikes which were decided by its members themselves.

Exxaro is it "is pleased with the outcome of the engagement between the company and the NUM, particularly as it has averted the possible negative effect that a prolonged strike could have had on Eskom's electricity generation and the country's economy as a whole."

Eskom is South Africa's major electricity utility. "The focus at the operations now will be to re-start operations as soon as possible after employees have returned to their duties and undergone safety and training interventions," the company said.

Exxaro is one of the largest South African-based diversified resources groups, with interests in the coal, mineral sands, ferrous and energy markets.

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