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NUM NEC Press Statement

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    The NEC of NUM met on the 17-18 September 2015 at EBMTC Midrand Campus.The NEC focused on an array of issues which were political, economic, and about governance within unions and in society.Most importantly the wage negotiations process and retrenchments. The overarching view has been to strengthen NUM internally and externally in the midst of the challenges including identifying opportunities.

    1. 2.1 constitutional compliance
      The NEC has noted the importance of ensuring constitutional compliance in making replacements of the leaders who have been elected by Congress to be National Office Bearers.The NEC resolved that where there is confusion the relevant authority shall be consulted for clarity within the organisation.
    2. 2.2 Collective Responsibility
      The NEC furthermore asserted the importance of leaders working together to tighten collective responsibility which will enhance an easy flow of information and interaction between leaders. Furthermore, it believes that this will also inculcate the culture of collective accountability in NUM thereby build a cohesive force of leadership.
    1. 3.1 Secondment of leaders
      The NEC is noted with concern the continued attack on union leaders by mining companies. The NEC believes that this is not isolated but linked with other developments intended to weaken the unions in the industry.The NEC has resolved to fight the recalling of leaders.
    2. 3.2 Retrenchments
      The NEC has noted that more jobs are on the line and the estimate is around 22 000. It is our view that this presents a national disaster because linked with these workers are families relying on them for subsistence. These retrenchments happen in spite of the commitment to work together to mitigate or prevent job losses.These includes looking at all alternatives and retrenchments being the last resort.
    3. 3.3 Stakeholder Declaration
      As the NEC, we believe that retrenchments are seemingly the first priority when it comes to companies dealing with operational or investment challenges. In this regard, the NEC condemns the conduct of some mining companies who continue to retrench workers despite having signed the Stakeholder Declaration on the 31st August 2015 which was coordinated by the Department of Mineral Resources recently.
    4. 3.4 Behaviour of chamber
      The NEC equally condemns the Chamber of Mines for its failure to provide leadership and guiding its members to do what is best in the interest of the country
    5. 3.5 Call to action
      NUM calls on its members to ready themselves for a national day of action which will be pronounced soon in response to the jobs bloodbath.
      We also call on the Department of Labour to assist in ensuring that the CCMA provides guidance progressive intervention where and when its wisdom is solicited. We equally call on the Minister of DMR to indulge with companies that persist in destroying jobs.
    6. 3.6 Glencore
      While NUM welcomed the Minister `s intervention by withdrawing the licence of Glencore Optimum Coal for its insistence to retrench without exploring other avenues.It is with regret that the Minister reinstated the licence without explaining why.The NEC is seeking to resolve the contradiction of whether it is right in law to retrench thereafter apply for corporate rescue.
    1. 4.1 Is this a political backlash?
      The NEC believes that the timing of these developments is more than the economic considerations. The NEC believes this economic situation is being used as an opportunity for a political backlash against the democratic government.
    2. 4.2 Political attack on the ANC
      It is, therefore, clear that the families of the retrenched would be aggrieved and easily view the ANC government as the demon responsible for their state of indigence as the breadwinners are culled like animals from job-lines. Thus, we view the practices of the companies as a political attack on the government.
    3. 4.3 Hostile anti-ANC Mobilisation by business
      We believe that the massive retrenchments may send a message that the ANC is useless and that it can’t defend the workers. So that those affected together with their families assume a hostile posture when 2016 local government elections come.
    4. 4.4 NUM supports government interventions
      The NEC calls on the ANC to intensify all efforts working with stakeholders to prevent job losses in the key industries such as mining, energy, construction, and steel. For this reason, the NEC continues to support the union`s participation in the government-led interventions to mitigate the impact of job losses including the introduction of preventative measures.
    5. 4.5

      Attacks on the State
      Furthermore, the NEC noted the observation made by POPCRU at the recent Cosatu Central Executive Committee meeting that police killings are on the increase. The NEC also noted with concern the presentation that the nurses were also under attack particularly during night duty as expressed by DENOSA.

      The NEC also observed the growing violent and bloody battles between those involved in illegal mining. Overall the NEC views these developments as presenting a shift towards the germination of a violent society which calls for urgent intervention.
      In addition, the NEC believes that the killing of police, violent attacks on nurses, destruction of public property during protest are symptoms of an angry society.These may also be representing a serious attack on the state itself.

      For this reason, the NEC calls on the government to put all measures in place to attend to matters of service delivery, particularly as we move closer to 2016 in which our country will hold national local government elections.

  5. 2016 Local Government elections

    Noting the above attacks as diagnosed by the NEC, the leadership calls upon its regions across the country to prepare their battle plans to contribute towards ensuring that the ANC wins the forthcoming elections in 2016. The regions are mandated to generate their regional plans which will culminate into an NUM National Elections Strategy to guide NUM. The plans must be submitted by 31 October 2015. Furthermore, the Political Commission of the union will generate a guidepost message defining the approach of the union .NUM NOBs will also seek interaction with the ANC to ensure synchronisation of strategy.

  6. Mining Phakisa

    NUM NEC is looking forward towards the Mining Phakisa process where it will participate with its delegation led by the President and General Secretary. The NEC hopes that this will expedite resolution of challenges within the industry.

  7. Community protests

    The NEC has noted the continuing protests in mining communities such as in Limpopo(Phalaborwa, steelpoort, and Mogalakwena).While the NEC regrets the violent nature of these protests it, however, believes that these are consequences of the industry `s failure to make transformation work given non-compliance with the Mining Charter targets and goals.

    The NEC is of the view that for real transformation to happen in the mining industry there needs to be programme of action on the ground with NUM working closely with affected communities including even leading some of these protests within.

    1. 8.1 Declining standards of safety conditions
      The NEC expressed its concern over the declining standards of health and safety conditions in the workplaces.In this regard articulated its disdain to the continuing injuries and fatalities suffered by workers across the sectors.
      It has resolved that the Health and Safety structures of the union must rise up and take up a fight to protect life and limb against the galloping capitalist greed which cares less about members and their families.
    2. 8.2 Political attack on the ANC
      It is, therefore, clear that the families of the retrenched would be aggrieved and easily view the ANC government as the demon responsible for their state of indigence as the breadwinners are culled like animals from job-lines. Thus, we view the practices of the companies as a political attack on the government.
  9. ESKOM
    1. 9.1

      MSA debacle continues
      The NEC is still concerned with the fact that the MSA continues to be a challenge in terms of relations between unions and Management. As a result, the union will continue to use all avenues including engaging government to fight for better-working conditions at Eskom including the reviewal of the elements of the Minimum Service Agreement.

      The NEC further noted that several managers were still locked in acting capacity.The NEC also calls upon Eskom to fill some of the strategic posts urgently to stabilise the entity executive.

  10. Unclaimed benefits

    The NEC continues to be seized with unclaimed monies locked in retirement funds at the value of 20 billion rands.An estimated value of R5, 2 billion is owed to mineworkers beneficiaries.

    The NEC is concerned that middle men are taking advantage of the situation promising prospective beneficiaries quick fix so as to milk unsuspecting people.

  11. Angloplat and Sibanye Gold transaction.

    The NEC also noted the recent pronouncements by Angloplat that it will be selling some of its assets like the Rustenburg operation to Sibanye Gold. The operation has 16 000 workers. Will monitor this transaction carefully.

    The union will be watching with keen interest to monitor that this take-over does not eventually invoke operational requirements in which case the company would want to compromise workers and dispose of them.This would not be solving the challenges of retrenchments.

    1. 12.1

      Cosatu protest march
      The NEC will also participate in Cosatu `s national day of action on the 7th October 2015 in support of Section 77 notice relating to the following demands:

      • Job losses in mining, Telkom, and Eskom
      • E-tolls, accidents, violence and imported locomotives
      • Eskom tariff increases, income tax increases
    2. 12.2

      The Anti-corruption March on the 30th September 2015
      The NEC noted the forthcoming march against corruption organised and led by NUMSA and others. The NEC stated that it continues to support the fight against corruption in both the public and the private sector in South Africa. The NEC believes that corruption is taking away resources that should be dedicated to public good and plunging them into narrow pockets of selfish plunder.

      While the NEC notes this progressive plan it however calls upon all the members of NUM to focus their energy and commitment to the 7th October 2015 national day of action coordinated by Cosatu which is intended to wage war against e-tolls, Eskom tariffs , and job losses .Our members are under attack through retrenchments and this remains our priority area.

    1. 13.1

      WFTU Unemployment Campaign
      The NEC continues to be concerned with the state of retrenchments and unemployment in South Africa. In this regard, the NEC supports the planned course of action by WFTU to lead a march on the 3rd October 2015 which will be directed to the Chamber of Mines.

    2. 13.2

      Taking up the fight with Rio Tinto
      NUM continues with the war against global capital and in this regard it will be participating in the global day of action on the 7th October 2015. Amongst other things NUM and other unions involved in the Rio Tinto Global Union Network will be demanding as follows:

      • the company stops replacing permanent workers with precarious workers
      • Equal treatment for equal work and etc.

      A letter of demands will be coordinated by all unions linked to the network to show unity and support on the demands.

    1. 13.1

      Gold Sector Negotiations
      The NEC noted that the negotiating team was positively considering the new proposals before it and making all necessary consultation with those affected regions and members for a way forward.

    2. 13.2

      Support for negotiating teams
      The NEC further called on all leaders of NUM and its members to rally behind the negotiating teams. He emphasised that if there was intervention needed the leadership should be informed so as to close gaps.

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