NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold Fields ( GFI) union workers are threatening indefinite strikes at all of Gold Fields' South Africa mines unless a health and safety rule is revoked by the company. The National Union of Mineworkers has announced that the strikes will begin on Sunday, March 7. The strike is being undertaken after six months of talks with Gold Fields regarding a mine health-and-safety regulation fell apart. The legislation in question calls for employers in South Africa to require all individuals working on a mining operation to meet the basic standards of fitness required to work safely in an underground situation. The country's mines are notorious for being treacherous, and lead to the deaths of more than 150 miners last year, according to Bloomberg. Gold Fields' implemented the safety system in 2006 for all new recruits at Gold Fields' mining operations in South Africa, and now union workers are demanding that it be abolished entirely. The union organization recently began expressing dissatisfaction with the system after new recruits were deemed unfit to work on an underground mining operation. Gold Fields and the union will be meeting during the week to work towards a resolution acceptable to the union, the company ... and the law. If the matter isn't resolved, Gold Fields says it will have no choice but to declare the proposed strike illegal.
Meanwhile, the mineworkers have threatened a prolonged, indefinite strike if their demands aren't met. Gold Field's South Africa operations make up 60% of Gold Fields' output, according to Bloomberg. Gold stocks are largely trading in negative territory Monday morning. Gold Fields American Depository Receipts are down 0.5% at $11.40, while AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) ADRs have fallen 1.6% to $35.80. Newmont Mining ( NEM) has edged 0.7% lower to $48.90 and Barrick Gold ( ABX) is down 0.3% at $37.60. -- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.