Amcu’s rights ‘not violated’

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AmcuHeadGear Reuters.

Johannesburg - Amcu's rights to a strike in the gold mining sector are not unfairly limited in terms of the Constitution, the Labour Court in Johannesburg heard on Friday.

“Section 23 (1) d of the Labour Relations Act does not violate rights as advised by Amcu. It does not violate any right in the Constitution,” Brian Lecoge, for the labour department, told the court.

He said the section promoted labour peace which was important to the Labour Relations Act.

The labour minister is cited as a respondent in an application in which the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is arguing why an interim order granted to the Chamber of Mines, preventing the union from striking in the gold sector, should not be made permanent.

The chamber approached the court after Amcu issued a strike notice to employers in the gold and platinum sectors on January 20.

The union wanted a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

At the time gold producers, through the chamber, concluded a wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity, and United Association of SA.

The agreement was extended to Amcu.

Feroze Boda, for Amcu, told the court on Thursday that Amcu members' right to strike was being infringed.

Boda said Amcu should have been consulted before a wage agreement reached with other unions in the gold sector was extended to it.

Amcu members in the platinum sector downed tools at Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin, and Impala Platinum on January 23, demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500.

They have so far rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.

The strike has cost the employers R21.2 billion in revenue and employees have reportedly lost R9.4bn in earnings. - Sapa

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