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AMCU slams NUM’s ‘tactic’ in closed-shop decision

By Doreen Mokgolo

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is labelling the sudden decision by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to terminate its closed-shop agreement with Gold One Mine in Springs as a delay tactic to set a date for a workers’ ballot.

The closed-shop agreement NUM has at the mine has been in effect since 2012 and prevents smaller unions from engaging in bargaining with employers.

Although NUM has terminated its closed-shop agreement, it says it is not ready to hold a ballot as it believes this will only add to the unrest at the mine.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the union decided to terminate the controversial agreement for the safety of its members and other workers.

“Our members’ safety is at risk as they are intimidated in their homes and prevented from going to work and one of our shop steward’s car was torched on Sunday night. We fear innocent lives will be taken,” he said.

AMCU central Gauteng secretary Tladi Mokoena said the union had not received any formal communication on the termination of the closed-shop agreement.

“We have seen and heard about the decision in the media but have not received any formal communication from the mine or NUM.

“This is only another tactic from NUM to delay the date to be set for the ballot where a new union representing the workers will be elected,” he said.

Mokoena said the strike and resultant violence could have been avoided had the mine and NUM terminated the agreement in June.

“Why did it have to take the miners’ downing tools and violence for them to finally decide to terminate it?” he said.

Gold One Mine legal representative Ziyaad Hassam told Scrolla.Africa the NUM notified the mine about the termination of the closed-shop agreement with a 30-day notice period “to allow for all the legal process required for the termination to be wrapped up”.

Pictured above: AMCU striking miners at Gold One Mine.

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo