JOHANNESBURG Dec 16 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton Aluminium in South Africa reached a salary agreement with workers to end a strike at its Richards Bay unit, the company said on Thursday.
In an emailed statement, BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote)(BHP.AX: Quote) said, "A three-year agreement was reached with an 8 percent increase in the first year and (inflation) plus two percent in the second and third year.
"A democratic process followed by NUMSA and the company led to closure of the protracted wage dispute," the company said.
Some workers at the aluminium unit at Richards Bay, in the country's KwaZulu Natal province, downed tools last week after talks on wages and changes in work conditions with management failed.
National Union of Metalworker of South Africa spokesman, Mbuso Ngubane confirmed to Reuters that the strike was over.
Africa's biggest economy has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats in both the private and public sector, which have led to above-inflation settlements and stoked fears that the cost of living will rise.
South Africa's inflation rate stood at 3.6 percent in November.