Picture: Timothy Bernard.
Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Amcu must abide by rules

By SAPA Time of article published Jun 23, 2014

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Johannesburg - Labour union Amcu must follow the rules, after the Labour Court on Monday made permanent an interim order preventing Amcu from striking in the gold mining sector, Solidarity said.

“Solidarity believes that this verdict indicates Amcu left its members in the lurch by not negotiating in good faith. We now appeal to Amcu to abide by this ruling,” general secretary Gideon du Plessis said in a statement.

The ruling would prevent the platinum sector strike from spreading to the rest of the mining industry.

“The damage to the mining industry now has to be contained to give this industry time to recover so that, after two years of labour unrest, it can once again be put on a sustainable path.”

Earlier on Monday, the Chamber of Mines said the Labour Court in Johannesburg made permanent its interim order preventing Amcu from striking at certain gold mines owned by AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony, and Sibanye.

“Historically, the gold industry has always conducted wage negotiations at a centralised level and the process has always been inclusive and fair,” chamber spokeswoman Elize Strydom said in a statement.

The chamber, which represents the three gold mining companies, approached the court to make permanent its interim order which prohibits a strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at certain gold mining operations owned by the companies.

Amcu wanted a basic monthly salary of R12,500 for workers in the gold mining sector.

The chamber obtained the interim order on January 30 after the union issued a notice to strike on January 20.

The chamber argued Amcu should not be allowed to strike as it was bound by a wage agreement dated September 2013 representing majority unions and legally applicable to all workers.

Amcu argued its members' right to strike was being infringed.

Du Plessis said Solidarity welcomed the ruling, as it was opposed to Amcu’s proposed strike.

“Amcu was part of the 2013 gold sector negotiations but hardly ever participated in the negotiations,” he said.

“Only after the agreement entered into by Solidarity, the National Union of Mineworkers and Uasa with the Chamber of Mines was extended to Amcu, did Amcu suddenly indicate that they wanted to go on strike.” - Sapa

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