It said it was the first industrywide mining strike in South African history and would affect the gold, platinum and coal mining sectors.
Among those facing strikes Dec. 4 are: gold mines AngloGold Ashanti, Goldfields and Harmony Gold; platinum mines Angloplatinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin; and coal mines Anglo Operations, Kangra group and Xstrata.
The union said that it also was mobilizing global protests at South African embassies.
A South African commission in 1994 said each ton of gold produced in South Africa cost one life and 12 serious injuries in an industry prone to rockfalls, poisonous gas explosions, flooding and earthquakes. There are concerns mining companies spurred to dig deeper by rising gold prices are cutting safety corners.