Xstrata’s coal operations in South Africa have been “significantly impacted” by a strike, although customer deliveries are yet to be affected, said a company spokesman.

As many as 6400 workers have stopped work since industrial action started on 16 October, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) told Reuters.

NUM wants equal benefits for all workers under an employee share ownership programme, but Xstrata is seeking different benefits for managers, NUM said in a statement last week. Xstrata has now withdrawn the employee share scheme until strikers return to work.

Xstrata produced 8.4 million tonnes of thermal coal in South Africa over the first six months of this year.

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