Dismissals not the solution - Cosatu

2012-10-16 11:36

Johannesburg - The mass dismissal of striking workers at Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] mines in Rustenburg was not helping to resolve the strike, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Tuesday.

"In as much as Cosatu is aware that the strike is unprotected, Cosatu still believes that there is room for further negotiations to resolve the strike," said North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.

"Interdicts and dismissals are not the way to go. We want to urge the mine bosses to withdraw those dismissals and engage further, to find a way of resolving the strikes with minimum loss of jobs that our economy needs."

Phetoe pleaded for calm during the strike and urged workers not to use violence.

"We want to be on record that the current situation was created by the mine bosses themselves, so they should help us to resolve the crisis we are in and stop dismissing workers by sms or in public."

He said the mines had until October 27 to reinstate all the workers who were dismissed informally.

"If they fail to do that the federation will be outlining its program of action to deal with the mining industry as whole."

The strike at Amplats continued on Tuesday.

"We are still on strike, we are not giving in," said Gaddafhi Mdoda, member of the Rustenburg Strike Co-ordinating Committee.

"We have a meeting today (Tuesday) thereafter we are going to apply for a permit to hold a memorial service at Bleskop Stadium."

He said if they failed to secure Bleskop stadium, they intended to hold the memorial service at the hill near Nkaneng, where a man was shot dead, allegedly by the police.

"We are going to hold a memorial service on Wednesday, whether we have a permit or not," he said.

Mdoda said the worker was shot dead on October 4, after strikers had gathered on the hill and police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and teargas to disperse them.

Amplats workers went on a wildcat strike on September 12, demanding a monthly salary of R16 000.

The mine fired 12 000 workers earlier this month after they failed to attend disciplinary hearings.


  • Nakkie69 - 2012-10-16 11:44

    "We want to be on record that the current situation was created by the mine bosses themselves, so they should help us to resolve the crisis we are in and stop dismissing workers by sms or in public." SERIASLY !!?? We are surrounded by idiots people !!!

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-10-16 11:54

      I think that if you behave illegally you should be dismissed. Bring up the wage issue at the next scheduled negotiation meeting in 6 months time. At least then everything is done by the letter of the law.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-16 11:58

      Of course over the last 18 years The Alliance has done SO much to advance the cause of their members.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-10-16 11:46

    Fire the f*ckers !! Hulle wil mos !!

  • sheda.habib - 2012-10-16 11:46

    Running scared COSATU. Who's the boss now.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-10-16 13:21

      Well sheda, they're probably losing members by the thousands and the thousands are the guys that pay their (Cosatu's) salary.

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-10-16 11:46

    "In as much as Cosatu is aware that the strike is unprotected, Cosatu still believes that there is room for further negotiations to resolve the strike," said North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe. Then do it within the correct channels!!! If it's unprotected then the employer has every RIGHT to fire them! The mine bosses have gone out of their way to entertain them and their demands, it's give and take, not take take take take. As for this Gaddahfi character - bud - if you are no longer in the employment of a company, then you are not striking, you are causing civil disobedience and vandalism. You can no longer destroy, break a burn and hide behind the "strike" excuse.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-10-16 11:48

    Cosatu/NUM sold out the miners with their "embedded" R14k a month double-agent shop-stewards paid under the table by mine boards. Too late for Cosatu/NUM -- whom the miners roundly reject -- to talk threats now. They're in the pockets of the mine bosses. Hirelings. Flunkies. Agents.

  • lawrence.ntuli.35 - 2012-10-16 11:50

    Don't these idiots understand how a business is run?

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-10-16 12:22

      NO, NOT ALL.

      Willie - 2012-10-16 12:43

      The fault lies with this so-called union officials,they need to teach their members about business.SA needs to have many people employed,this tendency of demanding more money is not helping.

  • sheda.habib - 2012-10-16 11:51

    COSATU like its partner the government spends all its revenue on wasteful expenditure. Now they are losing income and cannot cut back on expenses. Goodbye Cosatu - without union dues you are finished. The sad situation is that it reflects our Government. Income will be down (lower taxes) because government does not support private business. Next the government will be out and us poor taxpayers with them.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-10-16 13:23

      Sheda have to agree with you, see my first post to you. Do you think Vavi and Company will have to move from Houghton to Diepsloot ?

  • aspruyt - 2012-10-16 11:51

    Reap what you sow! Fire all these illegal striking idiots and ban the unions! We need a Margaret Thatcher!

      george.slade.161 - 2012-10-16 11:55


  • teresa.villarini - 2012-10-16 11:51

    Fired workers = less money for Cosatu

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-16 11:53

    He said the mines had until October 27 to reinstate all the workers who were dismissed informally. "If they fail to do that the federation will be outlining its program of action to deal with the mining industry as whole." SO are these more threats of violence? Is Cosatu admitting that they can and will resort to violence to solve problems? Maybe they should be charged for inciting violence?

  • martin.brink.965 - 2012-10-16 11:53

    If you had a business you had built up instead of being given on a BEE platter, you would realise that it is the bosses who make the conditions and the employees (job seekers) who agree to and abide by those conditions or go where they call the shots and ultimately sink the business/country.

  • tim.brink.1238 - 2012-10-16 11:55

    Illegal wildcat strikes not the solution.

  • pierre.uys.73 - 2012-10-16 11:57

    Suddenly the mine bosses must no dismissed workers and try too resolve the problem. I think that if 12000 workers are dismissed, then solly pheteo is not gonna get salalry, he is getting money from the 12000 workers that is fired.

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-10-16 12:00

    Sorry Cosatu, but dismissals etc are the solution. These workers need to be shown that they do not have free reign to do what they want, and that there are consequences to their stupid actions.

  • John - 2012-10-16 12:01

    Full support to Amplats, fire them and have any that break the law in any way, arrested. Its time to teach the workers in this country that a job is an offer made to them for a certain remuneration. They do not have to accept the offer, they choose to take it up. Neither the job nor future increases are a right that they seem to think they are entitled to. They are free to leave and find gainful employment elsewhere with the incredibly rare workplace skills they possess, their job can go to one of the unemployed millions that may appreciate it. Its high time the government did away with unions.

  • neal.vantonder - 2012-10-16 12:07

    Hold your ground Anglo. If you fold this will never end!

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-10-16 12:09

    Cosatu please when your organization has found the "way" that will restore peace,restore the workers to working,stops the destroying of property and endangering life without costing more and more money, that is not illegal strikes phone me,you idiots.

  • pieter.koekemoer.54 - 2012-10-16 12:14

    Cosatu you are even more stoopid than I thought. If you do not force workers to strike and reach agreements around the table without making stoopit demands then they will not get fired and the economy will not be in the state it is in. When will you realise that you cannot wring blood from a rock. Oh sorry you are to stoopid to understand the analogy.

  • james.klum.9 - 2012-10-16 12:17

    What COSATU don't seem to see is that government labour policy is driving everything in this country into ashes. We're massively uncompetitive and everyone is shafting everyone else (no pun intended). This is not how you strengthen an economy. How can a mine be competitive in a global market if the cost of getting the gold isn't marketable?! The South Americans don't strike selling their gold. And what is gold useful for anyway? Gold will lose its value when the price comes down in the future. In these uncertain times people have gone to gold as a hedge. That probably won't remain the situation. SA should be raking in the cash, instead we have everyone trying to squeeze as much as they can take. Our president is a great example of this, so thats the culture.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-10-16 12:43

      Price of Gold coming down??? In the long run the price will always go up as currency of every country becomes devalued over time. It's a little thing called inflation. Next you will be saying that the price of food will come down.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-10-16 12:44

      You can't print gold

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-16 12:17

    Stop listening to your union leaders, they are leading you into poverty and misery.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-16 12:17

    The firing of unlawful striking workers are correct because this is the procedure and tools that companies can follow when unprotected strikes happen. Atleast the companies followed the correct procedure. What about the losses incurred by the mines, is that right. I hope the mines stick to there guns unlike COSATU that through desperation chose to support yhis unlawful action in fear of loosing favour. Now we are back at the point to what actually set off this strikes, the fight between AMCU and NUM. Because of this idiotic behaviour the masses are gonna suffer!

  • nketso.kgwadi - 2012-10-16 12:18

    Well vavi as a union member I disagree with u as they r distabilising the economy killing innocent people disturbing anyone who wants to go to work pls find out how singapore got they country to be a developed one in sixty years? discipline, rule of law and hardwork

      jim.binnie.1 - 2012-10-16 15:25

      Nketso - you are 100% correct. Taiwan is another example, I was there in the 1960's and the country was very poor BUT was spending all it could manage on EDUCATION and 20 years later they began to benefit from that. Look at Taiwan today! The asian peoples are very aware that you have to work hard to get anywhere in this world today - South Africa wake up to the real world the rest of us live in.

      johann.enslin.9 - 2012-10-17 00:54


  • Brian Dorning - 2012-10-16 12:19

    Cosatu, a strike refers to employees protesting their grievances. These people have been dismissed. They are no longer employees and therefore these actions are in fact riots as they are violent! If dismissal isn't a legal right that the Mines should have exercised, what should they have done instead? Paid them for their illegal wildcat strike? Morons!

  • Brian Dorning - 2012-10-16 12:22

    Trade Unions are causing so much more damage than good! We need Margaret Thatcher to sort you clowns out. Best the ex-miners start looking for employment else where.

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-10-16 12:30

      ..and this Solly Pheto is the biggest of them all. He always has his sights on the "wrong doings" of farmers in North West. Suffer solly suffer, ........... go tell your members the truth and stop blamig others for your stoooopid decisions.

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-10-16 12:48

      Margaret Thatcher broke Patrick Cravens back when the parasite lived in UK. He is busy recuperating in Cosatu

  • foxiloxi - 2012-10-16 12:23

    Amazing, so the mines and the shareholders must just continue losing money hand over fist for an illegal strike where the wants of the miners are not possible to fulfill?!?!!? Unbelievable!! Cosatu and NUM seem to be desperate to make themselves relevant again.

  • Arno Lotz - 2012-10-16 12:26

    cosatu,who is in charge of the mines?your mentality equals a 5 year that 12000 is fired,again you cast threads.ban all type of union,because they started the whole debacle,reap what you saw,idiods!

  • stefan.vosloo.33 - 2012-10-16 12:30

    Nor is illegal and violent strikes, damaging property which could have been used to help with the pay increase. Cosatu or NUM should be liable for all the damage their members have caused???

  • chiepner - 2012-10-16 12:32

    Yes Cosatu - its always someone elses fault. Maybe if you stopped trying to mingle with high ranking politician and make n nice round profit on the way you might actually get back to what you where meant to do. Listen and represent your members without fearing how it might affect your sranding within a "tri-partheid" alliance?

  • attie.gerber.1 - 2012-10-16 12:35

    did you not know that only black strikers has rights in this country stuff the hand that feeds them. we will all suffer in months to come due to what they are doing to our economy, but then again they do not know it works. they think if they go back to work next years all will be well.

  • Matewis69 - 2012-10-16 12:42

    Continue striking, soon the mines will close due to financial meltdown and ALL will be without jobs and should a new company decide to buy the mine then they will not hire anyone that might cause their downfall too. The unions are destroying peoples lives now and the economy!

  • Julia Griffiths - 2012-10-16 12:43

    Unfortunately Cosatu are not in tune with the realities of the world around them and can only see in what they think is correct. However, we believe the Companies are correct and need to be in control of company business and cost to the company and to the country as a whole.

  • KCorsar - 2012-10-16 12:48

    The Labour Act makes VERY clear provisions for unauthorised absenteeism, failure to report for duty and other such acts. If the employer has followed the appropriate steps - serving notice of intent to discipline; notice to attend hearings and the employees fail to act / respond (return to work) then the employer is WITHIN their RIGHTS to terminate employment. Cosatu must stop trying to have their bread buttered on both sides. Play with fire, be prepared to burn in the cauldron. Cosatu has failed to protect its members and is simply looking to shift the blame / consequence elsewhere and where better than the employer (helps them retain face with their members). Hopefully the employers dont 'cave in' on this apathetic appeal...........

  • flyswat - 2012-10-16 12:53

    Many other willing and abled workers looking for work...

  • ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-10-16 12:57

    Mining 101 1. Resources are minerals in the ground. The cannot be mined as the cost of extraction exceeds the mineral value. 2. Reserves are proven Resources that can be extracted for gain. 3. Mining companies can raise future investment only on Reserves. 4. Reserves are reduced as the expenses (wages and levels of productivity )to extract increase. 5. Less reverses = Less future investment = Less jobs.

  • liz.rudy.3 - 2012-10-16 12:59

    Vavi talks about minimum job losses - what did you think was going to happen in the case of an unprotected strike? The Law is clear on the possible consequences of wild cat strikes. Now you want to bend the law to suit you and the striker's needs? R 16 000 a month for unskilled labour is a freaking joke! Watch how many people loose their jobs in the mining sector next year because of these strikes. That's the problem with semi/uneducated people - they fail to see the big picture. Same as the striking truckers - how many businesses were affected? Strike by all means if you must or want - but why involve everyone else trying to make an honest living?

  • Deon de Lange - 2012-10-16 13:22

    Fire all the workers engaged in unprotected strike. Then shareholders should demand removal of mine bosses. Fatcats and unproductive workers both to blame for a mess that is costing us all dearly. Enough already.

  • chris.khanye - 2012-10-16 15:12

    NUM Investment Company owns Primedia and Unibank - do workers benefit from these investments? No!! It's union bosses who benefit from such. Blaming the employers alone would also not resolve the situation and infact, who exactly is Cosatu representing because striking workers have simply discarded it into the dustbin of history? An informal strike deserves informal dismissals. SA has prescribed labour laws and all law abiding citizens subscribe to such. Criminality and lawlessness has no place in a democratic country. The striking workers do not respect the rule of law and rights of non-striking workers. Here we are talking about criminals and if they must be treated with kid gloves - then let's start negotiating with all criminals to be more reasonable and lenient when they ply their illicit trade. Criminality has gone too long and too far in these mines and it must be stopped. Threats against the mining houses only serves to destroy the already fragile economy of SA and legitimizes criminality. We cannot allows criminals to hold us the law abiding citizens hostage. Cosatu's tirade is a concern limited only to their stomachs and not the country at large!

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-10-16 16:03

    Mechanization is the only solution that will last. In RSA, the unions and their members attitudes are not geared towards productivity at all and that is the biggest problem. They think they are owed a job...wake up idiots, you are not.

  • karabo.moeng.73 - 2012-10-16 17:26

    we are truli surrounded by idiots who worse part does not even know whats happening in the mine or least work dere but commenting as if they know the pain of working in the mines, so dey just enjoy talking bull as if they know, those peolple will go back to work whether you like it or not so cosatu and the allaience must stand up otherwise those 75000.00 striking workers are the ones who vote for them to power so the threat is out if they are not going to vote yes the alliance will fall apart so i say the alliance standup and sort the mess they created and its hurting coz we kill each other and that what idiots like adas like but if they win and get the money adas will get but they are not striking

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