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NUM NOB's press statement

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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: 


2.1 Lonmin
Noting the importance of empowering communities and those historically disadvantaged NUM is conscious of the deal signed between Lonmin and Bapo traditional community.However, the union condemns the behaviour of the company to exclude other important role players from such an important empowerment deal.The company did not consider stakeholders such as workers in the labour sending areas.It did not consider the chiefs that influence the supply of labour in these labour sending areas.

Overall the labour sending areas have not benefitted from the hastingly signed deal. 

This is consistent with the mining oligarchy`s sustained manipulation to divide communities and workers and Lonmin is no exception to this divide and rule trend ..

Furthermore, “in buttressing the divide and rule tactic the CEO of Lonmin sidelined the Mining Lekgotla in solidarity with AMCU since the latter decided not to attend the event. While this comes out as sympathy we know that it is a behaviour that seeks to broaden the divide between AMCU and other unions,”says the general secretary Frans Baleni. 

The Lonmin CEO vindicates the fact that companies will do everything do nurture the divisions between workers and their trade unions.The behaviour of the CEO is consistent with this outlook and such conduct is deplorable.

2.2. Aurora
The NUM is deeply concerned that workers at Aurora are still struggling and living in extreme poverty.Any calls for the postponement of the court process is undesirable and simply amplifies the arduous state of the workers.

3. Construction

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.

NUM sends its condolences to the families of the workers who died at a double-storey house that crashed in Meyersdal Eco Estate on Monday. We expect that the investigations undertaken would lead to consequences. 

4. Anglo-Platinum

NUM has noted the intention of Anglo platinum `s intention to sell some of its operations. We know that this will lead to job losses with obvious negative impact on unemployment, poverty and inequality in the country.

5. Harmony

NUM calls on the company to review its decision to retrench 1 500 workers at Target 3 operation including cutting jobs at Masimong in Free State Province.

6. Helam mine

Helam mine a division of Petra diamonds situated at Swartruggens in the North West province also 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,” says NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni. 

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.

7.Membership figures verification.

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". 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?

8. 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 ", says Frans Baleni.

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.

9. 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 “Nohting about us without us”. 

10. Department of Mineral Resources 

NUM calls on the Department of Mineral Resources to take special interest in the developments pertaining to the platinum sector. These have the hallmarks of business committed to undermining government `s commitments of creating more jobs. We call on the state to exercise its developmental and regulative responsibilities. 

We urge the Department of Labour to enforce compliance and protect lives in the construction sector.We believe these departments are very important in effecting a proactive developmental state that guards its minerals while sustaining human life and protecting lives thus should move out of slumber.

11. Appointment of Eskom CEO

NUM has noted the appointment of Tshidiso Matona as new Eskom CEO. While he enters into a very troubled entity we hope he will understand the importance of rebuilding good stakeholder relations which had been completely butchered under the current leadership so that the entity could have a free reign and not be held accountable. NUM has also noted that business is advising the new CEO to reconnect with stakeholders and amongst these they count everybody except the workers and their representative unions. We take this opportunity to caution the new CEO not to be quarantined to this narrow description of stakeholders and hope that he will adopt a broad and realistic approach that encompasses workers as a critical player. This will be important in mobilising all forces to pull with one understanding and direction.The ball is the CEO`s hands to make the worst or best move and part of good partnership is recognising the rights and voice of workers.

For more information, please contact: 
Livhuwani Mammburu: 083 809 3257 Acting NUM National Spokesperson 
Frans Baleni: 082 375 6443 NUM General Secretary 

7 Rissik Street. Cnr Frederick, Johannesburg 2001
Tel: 011 377 2111 

Twitter: @Num Media

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