By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
On Tuesday, 80,000 South African gold miners went on strike, bringing the mining to a grinding halt until they were offered an 8% pay increase from four of the seven companies. Now, most have returned to work, despite the fact that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) demanded a 60% increase. NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told the AFP news agency that the 8% offer “may possibly mark the end of the strike.” The South African gold industry is one of the largest in the world, and was once the number one biggest before it fell behind to fifth place. It produces 6% of the world’s gold. Mining is a very important industry to the South African economy, and the NUM represents about 64% of the 120,000 gold miners.
Featured image courtesy of National Union of Mineworkers.