The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has expressed its dissatisfaction with Sibanye-Stillwater for “prematurely” issuing a media statement regarding the outcome of a labour verification process at the miner’s gold operations, in South Africa.
JSE- and NYSE-listed Sibanye on Monday announced that an independent verification process into union membership of employees at its gold operations supported the company’s position that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Uasa and Solidarity collectively represent the majority of those employed at its gold mines.
Sibanye, therefore, intends to approach the Labour Court to have the strike by AMCU members declared unprotected.
AMCU members went on strike at Sibanye’s gold mines in November 2018 in a dispute over wages. The NUM, Uasa and Solidarity had, however, accepted Sibanye’s wage increase offer and Sibanye had sought to have the agreement extended to AMCU’s members.
As a result of AMCU disputing Sibanye’s assessment that the NUM, Uasa and Solidarity represented the majority of union members at the mines, the company agreed to undertake a verification process.
AMCU, in a separate statement released late on Monday, said the verification process was “flawed”.
“AMCU was not properly involved in the process and, despite various concerns being raised, the flawed results were announced,” the union stated.
The union further pointed out that the verification process had allowed for a dispute resolution clause and that AMCU had declared a dispute. It added that the clause stated that the results of the verification process would only become final once the dispute resolution process was completed.
A dispute resolution meeting was scheduled to be held on Tuesday morning.
AMCU said it had, in its dispute declaration, outlined that it believed the methodology used by the verification agency had been designed to “serve the needs” of Sibanye and that the process had not been transparent.