The president of South Africa's main trade union for platinum workers told CNBC that miners were treated like slaves, after ordering strikes that will start on Thursday.
South Africa's main platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin and Impala Platinum, were served with strike notices, along with some of the country's gold producers. Union members are demanding a minimum wage of 12,500 rand ($1,153) a month, which is around double their current pay.
Joseph Mathunjwa, the president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), told CNBC the strike was aimed at improving workers' quality of life, and denied it was a move to attract members from a rival union.
"We want a better living for the mine workers who have been exploited for decades and decades, even after we (South Africa) ushered in democracy… Workers are still paid as slaves," Mathunjwa said on Monday.