Cosatu wants miners reinstated

2012-10-12 17:24

Rustenburg - The mineworkers dismissed by Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats) must be reinstated, Cosatu said on Friday.

"You cannot dismisses a worker via an sms. It is illegal. You called people to a disciplinary hearing," said Congress of SA Trade Unions North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.

Amplats fired 12 000 workers last week after they failed to appear at a disciplinary hearing. The workers went on a wildcat strike on September 12, demanding a monthly salary of R16 000 and allowances.

They refused to attend hearings, and rather pushed for their demands to be met.

They also insisted on representing themselves rather than using trade unions to negotiate their demands.

They did not want the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) to represent them. Instead, they burnt their union T-shirts and marched to the Rustenburg office to de-register their NUM membership.

"Cosatu agrees with the demands of the workers. They are genuine," Phetoe said on the sidelines of an SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) protest march in Rustenburg.

"The workers do not want the branch leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers. They are not against the union or Cosatu. Workers have been misled."

He said he spoke to striking mineworkers in Swartklip and Amandelbult on Thursday and Friday.

"I led a march to hand over a memorandum in Swartklip today [Friday], I was in Amandelbult yesterday [Thursday]. Workers raised genuine issues."

Phetoe said the memorandum would be forwarded to the Chamber of Mines and issues relating to internal union issues would be resolved.

"The situation has calmed down," he said. 

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  • JamesMWood - 2012-10-12 17:35

    Reinstate means they get to keep the benefits they lost when they were fired. Let them re apply for the job and let the employer enforce selective hiring, that would be your best solution

      stanford.mbizo - 2012-10-12 18:26

      How skilled are these employs? If they are not skilled workers just replace them with new people from the streets who may want to genuine work and look after their families. I think there is more people out of jobs at the moment and the companies shouldnt be held to ransom by greed individuals.

      christopher.shining - 2012-10-12 22:23

      Oh man, they don't need a job, so they thought. They running with their tails between their legs now...Not too bad having a job that pays hey.

      rickvcooper - 2012-10-14 10:52

      Even if you re-hire the fired stikers, if it is within a year of their dismissal, they will automatically be entitled to their old benefits. You can't selectively re-hire either. The unions, have this labour market tied up. This is why the employment levels are nowhere near where they should be, and people who so desperately need to acquire skills will never get the opportunity to do so.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-10-12 18:20

    The games Unions play. Margaret Thatcher would never have bowed down to their demands. Now there was a great leader.

      wwrer.ww - 2012-10-12 20:24

      She built a country up, she didn't break it down. She built it up.

      mahlatse.thuli - 2012-10-13 19:12

      bt they must gv plp wt they wnt

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-10-12 18:33

    They shouldn't reinstate them,they can't be trusted

  • Karel du Toit - 2012-10-12 18:39

    they acted illegally. they should be fired. dont apply the law only when you feel like it.

  • eugene.vanes - 2012-10-12 19:01

    Its time the employers sign on people and let them sighn company rules agains strikes and if they strike they will be dismissed immediately as the strikers late have more rights than companies,but if they dont sign the papers dont sign them on

  • mo.haarhoff - 2012-10-12 19:02

    Of course they have genuine issues: a debt crisis! But that is hardly the employer's problem. What on earth are unions for if not to educate their members about their jobs and working lives?

  • Erna - 2012-10-12 19:05

    But having a violent, wildcat strike is legal! Talk about double standards.

  • KCorsar - 2012-10-12 19:40

    Seems there is some confusion in what IR processes were actually followed, or COSATU is suffering selective memory here. They went on an illegal strike, didnt appear at a hearing, or follow up meetings - fired in absentia and advised of this fact through mobile - very plausible and if due process followed - where's the problem.....Stick to your guns AMPLATS

  • mart.botha - 2012-10-12 20:37

    These miners have 'flown their colours' for all to see. I personally would not want to re-employ someone who through his recent actions, has to be considered hostile to my business. Add to this that there are some serious politics and incitement going on in the wings, and you will realise that it would be a huge error in judgement to 'reward' those that have been dismissed with a second chance to bankrupt you. You are a fool if you are persuaded to let a hyena guard your sheep, a bergie to look after your wine cellar or in fact pay R20 for a R10 stale loaf of bread. They should shoot the bloody fool who coined the phrase 'you're allowed to make mistakes'. You're not, but we all will and do. We instead must know there are consequences for our decisions and actions. These miners chose their path and therefore the consequences are theirs to absorb. Bring in the next 12 000 who must understand fully when inducted, what it means to be employed. (a silly example...if 10 000 men each take their two days sick leave entitlement in a month, the employer is short 20 000 days of production/efficiency - do the employees realise this when they don't go to work.)

  • chirnsidep - 2012-10-12 23:15

    Dismissal via SMS is illegal !? What about the violence and destruction caused by striking thugs? Stick to your guns Amplats so maybe others will follow and finally do something about these annual strikes that cost lives and millions in damage.

  • coenraad.vaneeden.5 - 2012-10-13 04:12

    Cosatu needs to be replaced.only filling pockets with money they don't do anything for. The people.

  • Sello PilaPila Mabebo - 2012-10-13 06:29

    Some idiot dont understand why miners strike siriously those days.. underground is not a playing ground its a risk place. Some think miners ar not educated, miners deserve ds salary demand of R16 700. I adge to the management of anglo not to fire employee is not a solution at all.

      arthur.salvado - 2012-10-14 08:35

      I agree that firing the miners is NOT a solution but neither is paying R16000.00 . Now , let's find a workable solution guys. Mud slinging, name calling etc are NOT solutions ok ?

      SarelJBotha - 2012-10-14 09:09

      They only deserve what their jobs are worth and that should be determined by the value they add etc. A living wage is a thing that will for-sure bankrupt most businesses. If you want more, better yourself or hold down more than one job. Many people use their spare-time to make more money, rather than drinking or going on strike.

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-10-13 06:37

    COSATU you cant have it both ways - take a stand against unlawfulness and support the system. COSATU has abused the system for the last 30 years now its time for you to take a principled stance.....!

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-10-14 09:04

    They should be forced to apply for jobs first, then be asked to make an affidavit that they did not commit any criminal act first. Thereafter only should they be screened for merit appointments, starting from the bottom positions again. They should also have to sign a contract that they will not get involved in any violence, nor criminal acts and will leave minegrounds should they decide to strike.

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