PORT ELIZABETH – Solidarity said in a statement on Thursday it was pleased that the courts had ruled against AMCU’s agency fee agreement with Lonmin at its Marikana operations.
Solidarity said that a coalition between itself, UASA and the NUM succeeded to obtain an urgent interdict against AMCU’s agreement with Lonmin that permitted it to recover fees from employees who were not AMCU members.
It said the agreement signed on 24 April allowed a deduction of 1% up to a maximum of R200.
The court ruled that the agreement, which came into effect from 1 June, was unlawful, and that all money deducted from employees had to be paid back to them.
“We are, of course, delighted with the ruling because our view that the agency fee agreement was unlawful has now been affirmed by the court, head of Labour Law Services at Solidarity, Anton van der Bijl, said.
“This victory is the cherry on the cake after Solidarity, as part of the coalition, regained its organisational rights on 12 November 2018,” the statement said.
“This also means that all the hard-earned money already deducted from employees must be paid back. As such it is a victory for all the employees,” Van der Bijl said.
“The conclusion of an agency agreement has nothing to do with collective rights and strengthening of the AMCU power base; on the contrary, it is rather an attempt by AMCU to beat with a stick the coalition of which Solidarity and its members were part,” deputy general secretary of mining, agriculture and cement at Solidarity Riaan Visser said.
“Unfortunately, AMCU’s unsolicited actions and abuse of its power base left AMCU and the former employer, Lonmin, with egg on their face.
“We welcome the takeover by Sibanye and we know that AMCU’s unlawful conduct will not be tolerated,” Visser said.