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The National Office Bearers (NOB's) of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held their meeting this week in Johannesburg and resolved on the following pronouncements:
1. Job losses
1.1 Harmony NUM calls on the company to review its decision to retrench 1 500 workers at Target 3 operation including 500 jobs at Masimong in Free State Province.
1.2 Petra Diamond The NUM is deeply worried that Helam mine a division of Petra diamonds situated at Swartruggens in the North West province wants to retrench 370 employees at the mine.
It is the considered view of NUM that the approach of the employer is irregular because the company is putting the cart before the horse.
The company must first comply with the MPRDA section 52 which states that in the instance the company anticipates to retrench 10% or more employees it has to inform the Minister of Minerals Resources.
In this regard, the company should not be looking at section 189 of the Labour Relations Act of 1995 as the incumbent is doing.
NUM, therefore, calls on the Minister of Minerals Resources to intervene instantaneously to halt the insanity planned to aggravate the unpleasant state of workers. The fact that Petra Diamonds has applied for additional mining rights in the same area where it is presently operating is worth severe scrutiny.
1.3 There is a threat of 100 000 jobs to be lost in the next three years as announced by Anglo American CEO
1.4 The NUM is also concerned about potential job losses in the platinum sector
1.5 The NUM is also worried of potential job losses in the Construction sector especially when major projects like Medupi comes to an end.
2. Health and Safety challenges
2.1 The NUM will commemorate Kinross mine disaster and Health Safety Awareness up to 1st October 2014. On the 16 of September 1986, 177 mineworkers were killed at Kinross Mine in South Africa in one of the South African worst mine disasters. Apart from the 177 mineworkers killed, 235 were injured.
2.2 The NUM is extremely worried about the increase of fatalities in the mining sectors, Harmony and Impala have been the worst performers.
2.3 The NUM is extremely troubled that construction workers continue to die on duty like flies and this trend is increasing through deadly incidents in the industry. This shows the lax compliance with health and safety requirements. We urge the Department of Labour to apply strict enforcement of the laws and hold those implicated liable to injury and death of workers.
We call on workers involved in construction sites and projects to refuse to die and suffer injuries in silence. For instance, NUM is aware that some companies go all out to conceal injuries. This is the behaviour that seeks to promote profit at all cost of the worker `s state of health. The Department of Labour must play its part of scrutiny to protect lives and limb.
3. Incident of in loco inspection by Farlam Commission.
The NUM is extremely concerned and saddened that its National Education Chairperson Helen Diatile was hurled with insults and nearly assaulted at the koppie in Marikana on Monday for wearing an NUM t-shirt. Diatile was attending in loco inspection by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.
The problem started when our Education Chairperson arrived wearing an NUM t-shirt and she was confronted and instructed by Amcu members who were also wearing their own union t-shirt demanded that she take off the NUM t-shirt. The incident happened in front of Judge Ian Farlam, lawyers and the police. Judge Ian Farlam tried to intervene but he was not successful.
We want to make it clear that the commission is opened to all interested parties and involved stakeholders. We also hope that the commission took notice of the deficit of tolerance and culture of violence that was displayed on Monday. The NUM is here to stay and no amount of threats, intimidation and violence will scare us on exercising our organisational rights.,
4. Non-compliance with the Mining Stability Framework Agreement by Employers.
4.1 Impala (Marula) The Framework for a Sustainable Mining Industry entered into by almost all stakeholders in 2013, holds that companies commit to "act in a fair and impartial manner in dealing with unions and act swiftly where these principles are violated". But Impala Mine at Marula Mine in Limpopo is resisting independent verification to determine the majority union between NUM and Amcu.
This breaches the letter and spirit of the framework and vindicates the opinion that the agreement is just a public relations exercise. What is the interests of mining companies in refusing to use the independent verifier except ulterior motives?
4.2 Northam Platinum NUM does not support the presence of Paul Dunne at Northam Platinum. Paul Dunne has a history of dividing workers and unions. He mastered this art at Impala and under his leadership the company triggered a tumultuous tide of turmoil in the platinum sector.
At Impala, he refused to conduct membership verification through an independent verifier. NUM leadership has resolved not to stomach this behavior at Northam Platinum and we don’t rule out the possibility of this man plunging the mining sector into another chaos.
The union will never allow this divisive character to do what he did at Impala Platinum. The DMR should be proactive in promoting the spirit of the Framework by holding defaulting entities responsible for creating a stable labour relations in the platinum sector.
4.3 Harmony Kusasalethu Contrary to all the efforts made by all the parties to bring about stability at Kusasalethu intimidation is still the name of the game. This went to an extent of the parties signing a brief on the 21 October 2013 committing themselves not to participate on anything that can be interpreted as intimidatory within Kusasalethu premises. Even though, that was the commitment intimidatory songs about some of the NUM leaders are being sung on a daily basis. This has been reported to management on numerous occasions, but nothing is done about it by the management.
4.4 Lonmin Unions which have less membership than the NUM has been allocated offices to operate by Lonmin not NUM
4.5 Anglo Gold Ashanti- Mponeng NUM member was assaulted by a rival union member for wearing an NUM t-shirt. The rival union member got a final warning and the victim was also charged for being a vicitim.
5. Restructuring of companies
5.1 Anglo Gold Ashanti Restructuring was announced today by the company
5.2 BHP Billiton NUM has noted the de-merger process planned by BHP Billiton for its operations coupled with the intention to effect primarily listing at the Melbourne Stock Exchange in Australia. NUM has serious reservations about this because the company will now be controlled in Melbourne Australia.
NUM holds that the company must be primarily listed in South Africa. It is also deplorable for the company not to bother consulting workers before effecting such sullied manoeuvres which our union will never support in line with NUM motto “Nothing about us without us”.
6.1 The NUM will participate in the upcoming Mining and Health Summit.
6.2 The NUM supports the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's call for a National Labour Relations Indaba to be be convened in November to enable the social partners to begin grappling with the root causes of South Africa’s prevailing hostile labour relations environment.
6.3 Consolidated of Intervention dealing with job creation especially Youth employment
6.4 The NUM together with Royal Bafokeng Platinum will launch the RBPlats Housing Home Ownership Scheme to be held on Tuesday the 16th of September 2014 at Waterkloof Hills Estate in Rustenburg, North West Province.
6.5 The NUM will hold the Jeffrey Nzuza memorial lecture and tombstone unveiling soon.
A number of NUM members who are also citizens of Lesotho had asked the NUM to appeal with the authorities to being about stability there. Our members have raised a concern about the recent developments in their country. The NUM is calling for peace and stability in Lesotho and we welcome the intervention by President Jacob Zuma and SADC to amicably resolve the crisis in Lesotho.
In 1991, the NUM took a resolution that South Africa and Lesotho should seriously consider Lesotho being incorporated into Lesotho, which completely surrounds it.
For more information, please contact: Livhuwani Mammburu: 083 809 3257 Acting NUM National Spokesperson Frans Baleni: 082 375 6443 NUM General Secretary
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