UNIONS REJECT LATEST PAY OFFER

THE National Union of Mineworkers has rejected an improved 8,5percent pay increase offer from Impala Platinum, the world's second largest platinum producer.

THE National Union of Mineworkers has rejected an improved 8,5percent pay increase offer from Impala Platinum, the world's second largest platinum producer.

"They have increased their offer to 8,5percent but we rejected it outright. We have lowered our demand to 15,5percent from the initial 20percent and they must come to the party," NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said.

Implats spokesperson Bob Gilmour was hopeful of a resolution and said the two parties were "closer together" after the latest round of negotiations.

But Seshoka said there was still a possibility that the union would call a strike unless an agreement was reached.

The union declared a dispute over pay last month, a move that referred the issue to mediators. He said the next round of negotiations was scheduled for tomorrow

l Solidarity union said on Friday that Harmony Gold was willing to increase its wage hike offer to workers by one percent, which the union said was still unacceptable.

Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said a meeting between the union and Harmony had again ended in deadlock despite indications that the gold miner was willing to raise its offer to at least 7,5percent from 6,5percent.

Three South African unions are holding talks with gold producers under the guidance of a mediator after failing to agree on wage increases. The unions have warned they could strike if negotiations fail.

The next round of talks is due tomorrow. - Reuters

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