COSATU and NUM appalled at Kumbu management tactics

11 October 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the Northern Cape, together with our affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers, is appalled at the level of instigation by the management of Kumba Iron Ore mine in Kathu. The company keeps on shifting the goalposts as we attempt to bring the current unprotected strike to an end.

On Tuesday, 09 October 2012 we met with the company representatives under the leadership of Mr Marius Mathee in an attempt to resolve this matter. We adjourned the meeting when we realised that they did not have a mandate to strike an agreement and agreed that Mr Mathee will consult with the office of the CEO to secure a mandated person, preferably the CEO, to represent the company in a follow-up today.

That meeting was convened in response to the company’s demand that they are not prepared to engage with the representatives of the workers who are not representatives of a recognised trade union. Today when we arrived at the company premises we were locked outside and Marius told us that they are not prepared to talk to NUM but NUM can just be a witness to an agreed process with the workers.

What is interesting is that they claim that they do not want people from outside but they have brought a “mediator” from outside the company who seems to be biased towards the company. Our members are not prepared to continue with the negotiations without the NUM and COSATU and therefore the negotiations have been stalled as a result of the attitude of Marius and his friends.

We are of the view that it is mischievous and hypocritical for Marius to say that they do not want anyone from outside the company when they have brought in the private security guards from as far as the DRC and police into this peaceful strike action. We will not allow this company to incite the workers and overstretch their patience. Andrew Loots and Marius have been complaining about the loss incurred by the company but they are the cause that the company has lost income and they are still delaying a resolution to the strike.

We call on the head office of Kumba to deploy someone with the requisite dispute resolution skills to come and engage with us so that we can attempt to resolve the issue at hand before the workers lose their cool. Marius and Andrew loots must be charged for misconduct for inciting an unprotected strike in Sishen mine.

For more information please call the Provincial Secretaries at the following contact numbers:

Anele Gxoyiya (COSATU) @ 082 829 1861
Cornelius Manhe (NUM) @ 079 871 5514