By Ed Stoddard
JOHANNESBURG, June 24 (Reuters) - Wage demands submitted to South African gold producers on Monday by the hard line Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union equal or exceed those made by the rival National Union of Mineworkers, a source who has seen the demands told Reuters.
“They are the same level or higher than what NUM demanded,” the source, who did not want to be named, said.
NUM’s demands range from 15 to 60 percent for the next round of wage talks due to start early next month. AMCU officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The source said the AMCU demands included raising the work categories that some of its members are currently in, a move which would automatically raise their wages.
Just getting the demands from AMCU removes one layer of uncertainty ahead of talks expected to be among the toughest ever as rising worker militancy clashes head on with falling commodity prices and squeezed company margins.
AMCU has emerged as the dominant union on the platinum belt after a vicious turf war with NUM that killed more than 50 people last year, cost producers billions in lost output and led to credit downgrades for Africa’s largest economy.
It has made fewer inroads in gold and according to data from the chamber of mines claims about 17 percent of the workers in that sector compared to more than 60 percent for the NUM, which is a key political ally of the ruling African National Congress.
The chamber represents South Africa’s main gold producers including AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by Xola Potelwa and James Jukwey)