AMCU's victory a hollow one - NUM

Livhuwani Mammburu
26 June 2014

Union says strikers sacrificed between R42 501 and R52 000 in lost wages to secure a rise of R932 per month

Hollow Victory Whose Sham is Shrouded by Exhaustion and Rhetoric

1. End of self-devouring turmoil 

The National Union of Mineworkers notes the end of the violent strike and laments its tragic impact on workers, families, the economy, labour sending and surrounding communities. The principal enemy of the workers speaks of profit loss to companies and have not experience personal loss to the magnitude of the mineworker during the strike which was devouring the sustainability and livelihood of those it was meant to serve. No single employer is counted amongst the dead and the displaced during the strike.

2. Worker losses 

NUM will be holding its Central Committee on the 2nd July 2014 where it will make deep and overall analysis of the mining sector. But it is worth indicating that the strike destroyed local economic activities which sustained people in terms of jobs. Furthermore the reality is that mine-workers did not receive R12 500 per month as promised by their union which was the primary demand for the last five months.

This shameful retreat was imposed by the fact that some striking workers had become financially  desperate and had already started taking the risk of going to work after companies directly contacted them against AMCU's will. According to analysts the overall effect is that the striking workers sacrificed between R42 501 - R52 000  per worker to gain only R932 per month, which is not worth celebrating. Thus the workers are celebrating the end of the strike more than achieving their primary demand which was the cornerstone of their strike resolve.

Furthermore a number of properties have been destroyed belonging to workers themselves with no prospects of recovery and their loss is not covered by the agreement. Some of the workers have been displaced from their homes for the entirety of the strike in fear of being killed which affected their families. Workers were killed to enforce solidarity which was unnecessary and unjustifiable. No sound minded leader of the workers would celebrate such consequences and human costs with long term effects.

3. Platinum stock-piles cushion 

NUM also notes the alleged loss on the employers themselves but believes that companies used the accumulated platinum stockpiles to offset the impact of the strike which they have done successfully. Hence they were able to endure the five months strike period and still settled at their own terms. In addition they were entitled to trade through the stock piles while not having  to pay any workers during the strike which was beneficial for them in money terms while workers in earnest lost R10 .6 billion in wages.

4. Health and safety 

We call on the employers to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of workers is preserved given that some shafts were not in operations and therefore pose serious threat to life and limb .We also call upon the companies to facilitate counselling for all workers and their families who have been adversely affected by the strike.

5. COSATU statement  

 NUM regret the gross misrepresentation of COSATU Bargaining Conference resolutions in March 2013 by Patrick Craven, the spokesperson of COSATU. The conference never pronounced on R12 500 as a minimum of acceptable wage for mineworkers or any of the sectors and affiliates.

Therefore it is highly irresponsible and opportunistic to jockey on the current platinum sector outcomes at the expense of a true reflection of the Federation's policy position.

6. Central Committee

In this context NUM will bring out a comprehensive response to all issues affecting the mining, construction, and energy sectors.

The Mining Charter in which NUM played a predominant role is a legislative tool intended to redress the historical imbalances and empower workers. We will continue to be advocates of compliance because sustainable material benefit must be linked to salaries to empower workers financially. We commit to continue uniting workers because in unity there is strength.

7. Retrenchments and restructuring 

 It is also clear that there would be restructuring and lay-offs as already the cracks are emerging in the interpretation of the agreement. For instance Anglo Platinum has already indicated that it has not committed to guaranteeing that there will be no job losses. Lonmin has indicated that it is not aware of "no job cuts" clause in the wage deal. Soon time will tell who holds the truth.

8. Law enforcement 

We call on government to create stability in the affected areas in bringing normality to mineworker communities in the platinum belt. All criminals without exception must be held criminally liable. Now that the strike has ended we expect that the right of workers to belong to the union of their choice will be reinstated and protected.

NUM wishes to warn employers not to bow to a lobby-campaign to identify workers who have been attending to their employment. It is the responsibility of employers to protect all employees who have exercised their right to go to work or to strike.

9. Rights and Transformation 

NUM will continue to embrace all efforts to push for transformation of the mining sector including expediting the employee share schemes to empower workers and communities without trading these with sacrifice of right to free speech, freedom of association, including the right to life.

Statement issued by Livhuwani Mammburu, Acting NUM National Spokesperson, June 26 2014

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter



If you come across comments that are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate; contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs, please report them and they will be removed.
 responses to this article

Bluffing of NUM
NUM is just a defender of these mining giants. NUM usually settles at around 6% when negotiating wages with these companies and others. We must congraculate AMCU with their victory of settling at 20%, wherether they got R12,500 or less still it achieved . .more

by King Jammy on June 27 2014, 00:03
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Hollow Victory for AMCU
SIES num sour grapes you could not achieved what AMCU achived in your life time and you are busy defending white monopoloy capital ,but i am not surprised cause you are defending Mr.Buffalo and that one who cheat to get a licence who is now a Speaker in . .more

by Seage on June 27 2014, 08:00
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it


by JVLUNGZ on June 27 2014, 10:17
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Marikana strike
NUM must leave AMCU alone and concentrate on theare problem because Debeers (venetia Mine)are the next to Join Amcu

by Kgabo on June 27 2014, 10:31
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

num must know one thing the strike was not only about current mine employees it was also about future employees, when our brothers get employed by mined in 2017 their entry level salaries will be 12500 unlike 3500 that NUM agreed with greedy mine bosses, . .more

by Former cadre on June 27 2014, 12:29
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Num talking like the anc government no wonder Zokwana is in the government for opposing the strike and weakening cosatu.The alliance of thieves is go wing to die a natural death.FORWARD TO THE EFF FORWARD

by Mncedisi on June 27 2014, 12:57
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Hollow Victory
These fools cannot see that in order for a wage increase, jobs will have to be shed....the pie remains the same size, so as each slice gets bigger, there are less slices to go around. The only winners here, and they won HUGELY, are the banks who will now . .more

by Essdee on June 27 2014, 13:20
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

NUM - a bunch of labour aristocrats
It is an obvious fact that AMCU is a bunch of warlords. What one should not dismiss is the fact that they are the off-shots of NUM so those warlord traits are what they learnt from NUM.

Sadly the NUM is nothing but a shadow of itself, infested . .more

by Trotsky on June 27 2014, 14:46
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

AMCU's victory a hollow one...
That's far beyond their simple minded reasoning. Immediate Gratification through conniving scheming’s... Yes... Not medium, much less long term discern of one's acts consequences...
The local wekkas and the general "masses" from where they come from . .more

by Injala Apera on June 27 2014, 14:46
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Go to hell NUM
go to hell NUM how dare you protect the white monopoly capital, what a disgrace i didnt even read the bullshit you wrote here cant waist my time for such S***

by Fana on June 27 2014, 19:09
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

Livhuwani Mammburu lacks credibility and moral authority to speak on issues facing mine workers because your ideological outlook and worldview makes you an ideal candidate to replace Mr BUFFALO.Both are neoliberals not communist.

by Mandla dumke on June 27 2014, 22:48
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it

>>>>>> WWW.JOBS75.COM
my co-worker’s sister-in-law makes $83 an hour on the internet .. She has been fired for nine months but last month her paycheck was $19782 just working on the internet for a few hours…..
go to thssit…………▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼
you could try this . .more

by >>>>>> WWW.JOBS75.COM on June 28 2014, 09:29
Find this comment inappropriate? Report it