South Africa's trade union Solidarity said on Wednesday workers at diversified miner Exxaro (EXXJ.J) could strike before mid-2011 over benefits and planned retrenchments.

Exxaro said in November that it might cut up to 300 jobs as a result of a proposed restructuring to improve productivity and reduce costs of services and operations. [ID:nWEA6204]

Employees are tired of waiting for Exxaro to make good on its promises, and the planned retrenchments are the last straw, said Louis Pretorius, Solidarity spokesman, in a statement, adding that a strike could take place before June.

Pretorius said the employees were also concerned with the disparities between different Exxaro mines' pension and medical benefits.

Employees on the same job level at the various plants receive different benefits, causing a great deal of tension. he said.

Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers and UASA declared a dispute with Exxaro over the retrenchments on Monday. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda, editing by Jane Baird)