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Shopsteward Volume 27 No. 3

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  |  Affiliates Press Statements

NUM Post Central Committee Press Briefing

26 May 2013

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its Central Committee meeting from the 23-24 May at St Georges Hotel outside Pretoria and a highly successful report-back rally at Kloof`s Libanon stadium yesterday.

The Central Committee made amongst others the following observations and decisions:

1. Overview

The CC appreciated the challenges that are currently facing the organisation which range from:

  • Opportunistic rival unions operating outside of agreed collective bargaining frameworks-Vigilante Unionism
  • Companies allowing an environment of lawlessness
  • Challenges within the federation
  • Global economic challenges
  • Continuing structural inequality
  • NDP
  • Political matters

1.1 Membership Growth and Decline

The CC noted that the NUM is under attack and that this attack is not only aimed at weakening the NUM, but destabilising the federation and indeed the ANC and the mass democratic revolution.

The CC concurred that the NUM did have “enemies within” and that as the President of NUM indicated once you eliminate the enemy from within, you are left in a stronger position to deal with external forces.

The CC noted the decline in membership Rustenburg, Carletonville and PWV. In total almost 11% of membership has been lost in the past year. The CC resolved that the Organisation Building Sub-Committee develop a coherent recruitment strategy that will take into account, employment of recruiters and improving member service. Additionally, shop stewards were called upon to not mis-use union resource and to be disciplined cadres and represent and service members appropriately. Furthermore, officials were called upon to be responsive to member queries.

Between February 2012 and February 2013, we lost 37,887. Our membership stands at 284,555.

We reported to the CC that in as much as in 2012 we experienced loss of membership; early signs from the beginning of the year 2013 indicate that some of those members who left are now finding their way home. We can disclose that over a quarter (roughly 6,000) of these members have re-joined the NUM.

1.2 Health and Safety Matters

Mine fatal accidents contributory factors

  • Machinery
  • FOG
  • Snatch block
  • Heat stress
  • System failure
  • Lack of training
  • Bonus/incentive schemes
  • Statutory appointments

The NUM won at SCA when COM lost an appeal against in increasing the annual levy for compensation current and former workers. The appeal was won with costs.

2. Services

2.1 JB Marks

The CC embraced the report on the bursaries awarded and commended the work of the JB Marks Officials, and noted the R50m that will be earmarked for the incoming students. The CC further supported the NEC resolution to withdraw bursaries for those beneficiaries that have joined rival unions/resigned memberships. The CC endorsed the NEC decision that the scholarship is for NUM members only. By end of 2012, the NUM has now 709 graduates who were sponsored by JB Marks.

2.1 Youth Forum

The CC mandated the NEC to finalise the Youth Forum Guidelines and to oversee the development of a programme of action, now that a Youth Forum has been established in all regions and at national level.

2.2 Women Structure

The CC believed that it is the Women’s structure has the necessary capacity and is best placed to lead the struggle for women emancipation and the struggle against the continued abuse and violence against women in the mining, energy, construction and in the broader society.

On the issue of Gender Based Violence, the CC noted with the most serious concern the astonishingly high levels of sexual abuse and violence against women and children and therefore resolved as follows that the NUM (men) should take the lead the campaign against the abuse of women and children.

The President appealed to and the CC concurred that it is time for the Women’s Structure to be part of the frontlines and for leaders of this structure to take up a visible leadership role on gender issues more broadly.

3. Recent attacks on NUM

3.1 Statistics

It has been widely reported the number of deaths that occurred as a result of the illegal strike at Lonmin, however the nameless faces of those who were brutalised in Impala, Lonmin, Carletonville have not been reported upon and the investigations remain open with no arrests.

The CC resolved that the NUM should take issue with the state apparatus on safety and security and appeal for thorough investigations and arrests of those criminal elements that continue to terrorise, kill, brutalise, dis-member and rape workers to suffer the full might of the law. The NUM has not retaliated and will not use force to deal with these instances of gross human rights violations; however it cannot stand by and watch as its members are summarily eliminated without justice being served.

3.2 Security cluster

Policy

Prosecution

Arthur Brown

3.3 Other forces

Political interests

Workers committee

3.4 Media

The CC noted with grave concern inaccurate reporting by the media; the lack of investigation and ethical media conduct is disturbing. The media seems hell-bent on distorting events in the mining industry to serve a particular interest and have written the obituary of the NUM.

4. Role of Employers

The CC resoundly voted Impala as the worst employer for the second year in a row. The CC delegated the NEC to solicit international support through international affiliates to embark upon a solidarity campaign against Impala.

The CC mandated the NEC to compile a dossier on all of the criminal acts and lawlessness in companies and provide this information to the relevant Ministries.

Furthermore, the CC rejected the tendency by capital to unbundle its less profitable assets into “black hands” whilst at the same token reserving the more profitable assets and registering these in international stock exchanges. The CC resolved that State owned companies and SA owned companies be registered on the JSE.

5. Alliance Issues/ Solidarity

5.1 COSATU Campaigns and internal challenges

The CC once again articulated its concern regarding the continued mischief displayed by some COSATU affiliates, who ignore COSATU resolutions and guiding principles of 1 industry, 1 union and continue to recruit members from the NUM sectors (mining, energy and construction). The CC resolved that it will continue to engage COSATU, however do expect for COSATU to be more decisive and unified on this matter.

On the issue of certain corners calling for a Special Congress of COSATU, the CC was unequivocal in its resounding rejection of these calls if it is ever proposed in a constitutional meeting of the federation.

6. Politics

6.1 ANC and 2014 General Elections

The CC will support the ANC in its election recruitment, awareness and campaign strategy toward 2014 general elections.

To achieve this end the NUM will strengthen its traditional election brigade and focus more on the following regions: Western Cape (balance of forces) and the following regions due to their offense against the NUM (Rustenburg and Carletonville). The NUM will seek to not only bring a victory to the ANC in 2014 but to recruit new members.

6.2 Building the SACP

The CC recognised that the SACP is the only vanguard of the working class and therefore resolved that the NUM members should join the SACP and to swell the ranks of the party at branch and regional levels.

6.3 International Relations and Solidarity

The CC declared that the NUM should not support Qatar as a hosting nation of the World Cup due to their appalling human rights record.

7. Collective Bargaining

The CC noted he presentation regarding the approach regarding the 2013 wage negotiations and endorses the demands as refined during the pre-bargaining workshop and submitted to various companies in the mining construction and energy sectors.

7.1 Mining

· The NUM is demanding an increase of wages for surface workers of R7,000 per month and R8,000 per month for both underground and opencast mine workers

· All other wage categories to receive 15% increase on their basic and actual wage rates across all job categories in both gold mines and collieries

· All Rock Drill Operators (RDO’s) job categories to be moved up to category 8

· All other miners to be moved up to category 7 across all mines

· Employers encouraged to promote home ownership

  • Housing Allowance to be increased to R8,000
  • Living out Allowance to be increased to R3,000 to those who qualify
  • Clear Policy of Home Ownership to be implemented

· Transport Allowance/Commuter Allowance

· Medical Incapacity Allowance: Once of payment of R50,000

· Risk/Danger Allowance

· Wellness of Women Workers

· ESOP’s

· Compliance to MPRDA

· Provident Fund Contributions

7.2 Energy

· Entry level , a minimum of R12 000

· Allowances:

  • Increase of R3,000 for Housing
  • Increase of R45,000 for Personal Housing Loans
  • Hospital cover increase from R390-R600,000

· Bonuses: 25% on target Bonuses

· Leave:

  • Maternity leave to be increased to 5 months with full pay and the 6th month to be 30% of basic salary
  • Annual Leave: 25 calendar days
  • Trade Union Training Leave: 20 per Part Time Shop steward
  • Trade Union Leave: 50 days per annum

· Long Service Recognition: Long service increment to be increased by R2, 500 for each subsequent completed period of 5 years of continuous service

· Other Benefits

  • Medical Aid (Eskom 80% employees 20%)
  • Jan H Smith Loan increase to R10,000
  • Bargaining Threshold to be extended to Task Grading 16 (MPS)

· Collective Agreements

7.3 Construction

· Minimum Entry Wage Levels: Task Grade 1 R6,000

· Wage increase of 15%

· 4 weeks’ severance pay

· Hours of Work: 40 hours per week

· Leave:

  • Maternity Leave: 100% pay for 4 months
  • Family responsibility Leave: 10 days per annum (or 5 days per occurrence)
  • Annual Leave: 20 days per year to be implemented on first year of service and NOT after 5 years

· Inclement weather

· Medical Aid (Employer 80% and employee 20%)

· Permanent Workers vs. Sub-Contractors

· Transformation

8. Outstanding monies of mineworkers

8.1 The 1970 Provident Fund

The Central Committee noted the R 700 million in the 1970s Provident Fund kitty and appealed for the tracing of all former workers by both TEBA and the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that these former workers get their dues.

9. Police and Judiciary in Rustenburg

The Central Committee was highly pertubed by the lack of action by both the police and the judiciary in obvious cases of intimidation, violence and criminal activity particularly on the platinum belt.

Frans Baleni- NUM General Secretary- 082 375 6443
Lesiba Seshoka- NUM Spokesman)- 082 803 6719

Lesiba Seshoka (Spokesman)
National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street
Cnr Frederick
Johannesburg

Tel: 011 377 2047
Cell: 082 803 6719

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