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Cosatu lashes out at union-bashing

Jul 05 2013 21:09 Sapa

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Mining companies in the North West must end union-bashing and reopen offices of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said Friday.

"Where there is an intention to close NUM offices, that intention must be abandoned," Cosatu said in a memorandum handed to mining companies.

It called on Impala Platinum (Implats) [JSE:IMP] to let elected union leaders serve their members.

Cosatu believed that a number of mines, particularly those in the platinum belt, were not affording its affiliate, the NUM, the same rights as other unions.

In May, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin's [JSE:LON] platinum mine in Marikana threatened to go on strike in an organisational rights dispute between itself and the NUM.

The dispute arose when the NUM would not vacate a union office after losing its majority status to Amcu.

The unions had been struggling for dominance at the mine, resulting in violent strikes and murders.

Cosatu provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said Friday's memorandum was handed to officials at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg office.

Anglo Platinum (Amplats) [JSE:AMS] representatives and North West economic development MEC Motlalepula Rosho were present at the handover.

Lonmin was the only mining company not represented, Phetoe said.

"We will go to them on July 21," he said.

Cosatu made 11 demands in its memorandum.

These included that Amplats stop all planned retrenchments and that Impala re-employ the 2 500 workers dismissed last year.

Cosatu also wanted an independent body appointed to conduct a membership verification at Implats and Amplats.

It wanted Implats to provide documents proving which workers belonging to which union.

Cosatu called for an end to violence in the mining sector and for investigations into the killing of workers.


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implats  |  lonmin  |  cosatu  |  amcu  |  num  |  solly phetoe  |  mining unrest
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