South Africa’s NUM says signs wage agreement with De Beers

South Africa’s NUM says signs wage agreement with De Beers

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has agreed on a wage deal with diamond producer De Beers, a unit of Anglo American, the union said on Saturday, averting a strike at the firm's operations.

Peter Bailey, NUM's negotiator at De Beers, said the union and the company signed a 9 per cent wage increase agreement.

The union had initially demanded a 13 per cent rise. Workers were expected to strike on Friday after wage talks reached a deadlock.

"We struck a deal 20 minutes before the strike could commence," Bailey told Reuters.

De Beers produced 4 million carats of diamonds in South Africa last year, out of the total of 27.9 million carats it produced worldwide.

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