Amcu is favoured over other unions - NUM

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Di­neo Faku

TRADE union Sol­i­dar­ity has launched a scathing at­tack on Lon­min ac­cus­ing it of favour­ing the As­so­ci­a­tion of Minework­ers and Con­struc­tion Union (Amcu) at the ex­pense of other unions in the com­pany.

Gen­eral sec­re­tary Gideon du Plessis yes­ter­day said Lon­min gave Sol­i­dar­ity, the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers (Num) and United As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa (Uasa) no­tice that lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights the three en­joyed would be ter­mi­nated af­ter fall­ing be­low thresh­olds.

Du Plessis said the de­ci­sion could have neg­a­tive con­se­quences for the com­pany .

He called on Lon­min to re­in­state the recog­ni­tion rights, charg­ing that Sol­i­dar­ity, Uasa and the Num rep­re­sented the ma­jor­ity of skilled em­ploy­ees at Lon­min and the de­ci­sion meant that the work­ers were now left to their own de­vices.

“The ill-judg­ment of Lon­min’s man­age­ment in this re­gard is per­turb­ing,” Du Plessis said.

Amcu be­came Lon­min’s ma­jor­ity union three years ago and the com­pany com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing recog­ni­tion of Uasa, Num and Sol­i­dar­ity, said Du Plessis, who also blamed the com­pany for back­track­ing on its prom­ise to keep the lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights agree­ment to the three unions.

“The com­pany thus com­mit­ted it­self to the prin­ci­ple of plu­ral­ism, which means that the un­demo­cratic win­ner-take­sall prin­ci­ple of recog­ni­tion was re­jected by Lon­min. This win­ner-takes-all prin­ci­ple played a ma­jor role in the run-up to the tragic Marikana events in 2012.”

In a let­ter to Sol­i­dar­ity dated on Au­gust 2, Lon­min said that Amcu had ob­jected to the con­tin­ued ex­is­tence of the lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights agree­ment.

“This agree­ment is also in breach of the recog­ni­tion agree­ment be­tween Lon­min and Amcu,” the com­pany said.

Lon­min said it had 24 750 em­ploy­ees oc­cu­py­ing cat­e­gory 4 to cat­e­gory 5 Paterson grade at its Marikana op­er­a­tions and that Sol­i­dar­ity had 772 mem­bers in these po­si­tions.

How­ever, Sol­i­dar­ity said it rep­re­sented close to 1 100 em­ploy­ees.

“In line with the lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights agree­ment, we give you three months to ter­mi­nate the said lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights be­tween Lon­min Platinum and Sol­i­dar­ity,” the com­pany said in the let­ter. “Ac­cord­ingly, the lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights agree­ment will ter­mi­nate on Novem­ber 5, and all rights granted in ac­cor­dance with the said lim­ited rights will cease to ex­ist on that date.”

Lon­min has a his­tory of volatile labour re­la­tions af­ter be­ing the scene of the Marikana Mas­sacre in mid-Au­gust 2012 in which 34 minework­ers were killed in a po­lice shoot-out amid an il­le­gal strike.

Lon­min spokesper­son, Wendy Tlou, con­firmed that the com­pany had started a process of look­ing at the unions with lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights while their rep­re­sen­ta­tion lev­els were well be­low the thresh­olds that are re­quired in our cur­rent recog­ni­tion agree­ment with Amcu and in terms of labour laws.

“As a re­sult of this, we have started en­gage­ments and gave no­tice of our in­ten­tion to ter­mi­nate these lim­ited or­gan­i­sa­tional rights with Sol­i­dar­ity, Uasa and NUM who do not meet the thresh­old re­quire­ments re­ferred to above.

Lon­min con­tin­ues to recog­nise the em­ployee’s free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion and their right to join any union of their choice,” she said.

Livhuwani Mamm­buru, Num na­tional spokesper­son, said the union found it un­fair that all the em­ploy­ees could be rep­re­sented by one union.

Mamm­buru said the com­pany had long dere­cog­nised the Num.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.