JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) treasurer Jimmy Gama on Thursday indicated that about 18 000 of the union’s members would resort to strike action at platinum miner Lonmin’s Rustenburg operations next week if the company did not sign a recognition agreement confirming the union’s majority-recognised status.
He told Mining Weekly Online that the union had held a meeting with members on Wednesday during which they voted to participate in strike action if an agreement was not reached.
“They [Lonmin] are still refusing to sign a recognition agreement that confirms what they have been telling the nation. Unfortunately, they still do not agree with some of the issues that form part of the recognition agreement.
“If it is not signed and those issues are not dealt with, it would enable us as a union to exercise our rights and represent our members fully at the workplace [undertake strike action],” Gama said.
He added that AMCU would request a meeting with Lonmin’s management on Monday wherein a solution would be discussed.
“If no agreement is reached, we will on Wednesday give a 28-hour notice and on Saturday workers will commence with the strike,” Gama stated.
The recognition agreement, which had been negotiated between the two parties, stipulates the role and rights of the union.
The parties had been in discussions regarding the union’s majority status for over a month. Last month, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issued a certificate of nonresolution. At the time, Lonmin and AMCU agreed to meet for further negotiations.
Meanwhile, newswire Reuters reported that Lonmin had yet to receive an ultimatum from AMCU regarding the threatened strike.
It quoted Lonmin executive VP for mining Mark Munroe as saying that the miner had significantly increased the number of security staff at its South African mines to manage growing labour tension.