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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
S African miners vote to strike
Examining an uncut diamond
De Beers is the latest group to be hit by strikes in South Africa
South African workers for the world's biggest diamond producer, De Beers, have voted to go on strike over pay.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said about 11,000 of its members would down tools from 31 July to demand an 11% wage increase.

De Beers, which is 45%-owned by mining giant Anglo American, said contingency plans would be in place to operate the mines during the indefinite strike.

The planned strike is the latest union unrest that has rocked South Africa.

'Double-digits is the route'

The NUM has demanded an 11% pay offer and has said it is still open to negotiations. De Beers has offered 8%.

"Workers have told us in no uncertain terms that double-digits is the route," said Peter Bailey, the NUM's negotiator at De Beers.

De Beers told the AFP news agency: "In the event of a strike, contingency plans are in place to operate the mines.

"However, the company would prefer to settle this without disruption to its normal operations or to employees."

More than a quarter of a million engineering and metal workers walked out in protest over pay disputes earlier this month in a strike expected to bring 9,000 companies to a standstill.


SEE ALSO
De Beers to create black-run firm
09 Feb 07 |  Business
De Beers misses diamond forecasts
28 Jul 06 |  Business
De Beers to sell 26% of SA unit
05 Apr 06 |  Business
De Beers in EU competition deal
22 Feb 06 |  Business
Threat to De Beers diamond sales
11 Oct 05 |  Business

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