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NUM intensifies recruitment drive

Jul 16 2013 09:39 Sapa
Marikana inquiry

Members of rival unions NUM and Amcu at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. (Lucas Ledwaba, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has stepped up recruitment at Lonmin [JSE:LON] in Marikana, the union said on Monday.

"We started three weeks ago; we have been at all shafts," said Rustenburg regional organiser Mxhasi Sithethi.

"The recruitment team was met with a lot of intimidation. The NUM believes in coexisting with other unions, we do not understand why this union is behaving in this manner."

He was referring to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which has cut deep into the NUM's membership at Lonmin to such an extent that it is about to lose its rights as a majority union.

He said Amcu members intimidate workers from interacting with NUM recruiters.

"They will sit next to recruiters and point fingers at workers interacting with our team. The intimidation differs on a daily basis," he said.

Amcu secretary Jeff Mphahlele said his union has no record of any intimidation against the NUM by its members.

"It is very difficult to understand their complaint. We do not have a report of our members intimidating them."

The Labour Court in Johannesburg has struck off the roll an urgent application by the NUM to stop Lonmin de-recognising it as a majority union.

The NUM filed an urgent court application on June 27 seeking an extension of the 90-day period prior to de-recognition, pending the outcome of a dispute referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The union had referred a dispute about the interpretation and application of the recognition agreement with Lonmin to the CCMA.

In the referral the NUM claimed Lonmin transferred its members to Amcu in contravention of the recognition agreement, and this led to its membership falling below the required threshold.

Sithethi said as part of the recruitment drive, a rally would be held in Wonderkop on Sunday.

The NUM had until Tuesday to recruit more members to retain its majority union status, or vacate its offices. The offices are provided by the company to the majority union at each shaft, while other unions have one central office.

In its application to the court, the NUM said conditions had not been conducive for recruitment at Lonmin's Marikana operations near Rustenburg, North West.

Forty-four people were killed during a wage-related strike at Lonmin's mine in August last year. Thirty-four of them were shot dead by police on August 16 and 10, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

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lonmin  |  amcu  |  num  |  marikana  |  mining
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