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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 22:58 GMT 23:58 UK
South African diamond strike off
De Beers showroom in London
De Beers said the deal was good for efficiency and output
Workers at diamond producer De Beers in South Africa have called off strike action after reaching a pay agreement.

Stoppages set to involve 3,000 staff were cancelled at the last minute after managers made an improved offer.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the offer was worth an extra 10% to its members, while De Beers said the figure was between 8.5% and 10%.

Both sides said they were satisfied with the deal, which prevented a damaging escalation in the dispute.

Frantic negotiations

The agreement was reached after a period of frantic negotiations.

De Beers, which is 45%-owned by mining giant Anglo American, originally offered a 8% rise in pay while the NUM sought an 11% increase.

We put a demand of 10% and we got it
National Union of Mineworkers

"This is a very good offer," said an NUM spokesman.

"We put a demand of 10% and we got it."

De Beers said the settlement "boded well for the future".

Had the strike gone ahead, it would have been the latest in a series of wage disputes affecting South African industry.

More than a quarter of a million engineering and metal workers walked out in protest over pay earlier this month in a strike which brought thousands of companies to a standstill.

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