South African Gold Miners Go on Strike
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Some 80,000 gold miners in South Africa have gone on strike to call for higher pay, but their union has significantly scaled down its demands.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is now calling for a 10% wage rise, down from earlier demands for increases of up to 60% for some workers.
Workers last week rejected an offer of a 6% rise - the same as the current annual rate of inflation.
South Africa's gold industry is one of the biggest in the world, BBC reported.
But it has been in decline in recent years, while the platinum sector is still recovering from violence during last year's strikes.
It has been estimated that the gold miners' strike could cost South Africa more than $30m (£20m) a day in lost output.
Mine owners are warning it could lead to gold mines closing and thousands of jobs being lost, following a fall in the price of gold.
They say that their production costs have increased as they have had to dig ever deeper to extract gold.