Lonmin must dismiss workers involved in violence - Solidarity

Union says exclusionary recognition thresholds in sector also need to be revisited

Lonmin violence: Dismiss workers who took part in illegal actions - Solidarity

Trade union Solidarity today appealed to Lonmin to dismiss workers involved in the violence at its Marikana Mine near Rustenburg. Solidarity furthermore demands that employees who have engaged in criminal deeds be criminally prosecuted.

According to Solidarity General Secretary, Gideon du Plessis, it is to be welcomed that the police intervened in the ongoing violence but it comes too late for the nine or so persons who have already lost their lives in the violence. Solidarity requested the police yesterday already to act firmly to ensure that the violence is stopped.

"The time has come for a decisive intervention in the platinum sector. Formal collective bargaining forums must be created with strict guidelines determining among others that all collective bargaining processes only take place within the collective bargaining structures and in accordance with the guidelines for collective bargaining. The recognition of a trade union which acts outside these guidelines, must be suspended following a first breach, and should it be repeated, such a trade union's recognition must be withdrawn."

Du Plessis says the application of recognition thresholds and requirements for the mining industry must also be revisited. "Extraordinary high thresholds, for example 50% plus one, are often applied, resulting in the exclusion of other unions. The Portfolio Committee on Labour must discuss the issue as a matter of urgency. Solidarity is also of the opinion that the Registrar of Trade Unions should obtain more powers from the Department of Labour to suspend the registration of a trade union, in cases such as AMCU, where a pattern of violence and unlawful behaviour and conduct has developed."

Solidarity proposes that the Department hold a summit on the role and responsibilities of trade unions and their interaction with employers within the platinum sector.

"The Department of Minerals and Energy's task team on the platinum sector, as well as Migdett, the task team concerned with growth, development and employment in the mining industry must give urgent attention to the destabilisation of the platinum industry in particular, and the influence it has on investors, among others," Du Plessis says.

Statement issued by Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary: Solidarity, August 14 2012

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