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September 04, 2013

South African Gold Miners Strike

by VOA News

Tens of thousands of South African gold miners are on strike after their union rejected a final offer from major mining firms.

The National Union of Mineworkers says the strike, which began late Tuesday, will continue "indefinitely" until its demands are met.

The union, which represents more than 80,000 gold miners, is seeking pay hikes of 60 percent for surface and underground workers.

Employers have offered an increase of 6.5 percent.

A union spokesman, Lesiba Seshoka, dismissed a report Wednesday that the union has dramatically reduced its demands.

A gold industry spokeswoman, Charmane Russell, says the strike will cost the mining firms about $34 million in revenue each day it continues.

South Africa was once the world's largest gold producer but production has dropped amid rising costs and frequent labor unrest in recent years.