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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has declared a dispute with the Chamber of Mines members in the coal sector of their intention to walk out of the centralised bargaining forum.
The NUM had a meeting with the Chamber of Mines on the 20th of January this year where the Chamber of Mines confirmed that they are prepared to remain in the centralised bargaining forum and that they were very excited that they reached the agreement with the unions. They Chamber of Mines put two conditions on the table, one condition was to deal with the issue of the threshold agreement and the other was to have rules of engagement going forward, especially in view of the upcoming coal sector 2017 wage negotiations.
According to Peter Bailey, NUM Chief Negotiator in the Coal Sector, the Chamber of Mines had now reversed its stance, though, again informing unions that centralised bargaining negotiations would not take place this year.
"We met with the Chamber of Mines today where they informed the unions today they do not have an agreement to remain in the centralised bargaining negotiations saying they misrepresented their members and so forth. We then felt that we were being disrespected, misled, abused and we were driven to a process where we felt we could no longer tolerate this behaviour," Bailey said.
The NUM is going to refer the matter to the CCMA as a matter of urgency. Bailey said the NUM will commence with picketing from now on and soon after the CCMA has intervened and issued a certificate to strike it will then embark on a national strike.
"The strike process will not be resolved until the Chamber of Mines withdraws its notification and until it negotiates with unions in good faith.If the Chamber of Mines wants an unproductive mining industry, if it is in search of the collapse of the coal sector industry and if the Chamber of Mines wants anarchy we can respond with anarchy," Bailey warned.
For more information, please contact:
Peter Bailey: NUM Health and Safety Chairperson: 082 883 7302
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media