The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in Mafube Colliery, Highveld region, has called upon Exxaro and Thungela companies to address the workers’ demands at Mafube Colliery.
The NUM in Mafube Colliery, a joint venture of Thungela and Exxaro, is currently embarking on a strike that is entering its second week, demanding that the workers be paid better.
NUM members are demanding R100,000 that was allegedly given to all Thungela employees through the Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs).
The union said their members and employees equally deserve the amount that was paid to the other employees.
An ESOP is an employee benefit plan that enables employees to own part or all of the company they work for.
ESOPs are most commonly used to facilitate succession planning, allowing a company owner to sell their shares and transition flexibly out of the business.
According to the union, the strike is to raise awareness that they need to be treated well by Exxaro and Thungela and not like a “step child.”
"If Exxaro and Thungela cannot take this operation seriously, then they must consider selling their shares to companies that are willing to take care of the needs of the workers," it said.
Another demand on top of Mafube’s agenda is to start recognising the union’s branch secretary and for that position to be made full-time.
"Both Exxaro and Thungela are recognising the branch secretaries on a full-time basis, but when it comes to Mafube Colliery management, they are behaving very awkwardly, something that the NUM rejects with the contempt it deserves,” it said in a statement.
Furthermore, the NUM branch in Mafube Colliery said it will intensify its strike to make sure that the conglomerates are listening and taking the employees’ demands very seriously.