Lonmin recognises Amcu as majority union

2013-08-14 13:47

Platinum producer Lonmin and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have signed a recognition accord, the company has said, a move that averts threatened strike action by the union.

Members of Amcu, which claims over 70 percent of Lonmin's workforce, have twice this year staged brief illegal strikes at the company and had threatened to down tools again unless the company recognised it as the dominant union.

"I'm delighted to announce the signing of our recognition agreement ... This is key to achieving peace, stability and prosperity for all, which will enhance our recent operational performance," Lonmin's new chief executive Ben Magara said in a statement today.

The agreement formally recognises Amcu as the majority union at Lonmin, the world's third largest platinum producer.

Amcu says it is the dominant union organisation at Lonmin after poaching members from the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in a vicious turf war which is still rumbling on in South Africa's troubled mining sector.

Lonmin's operations were at the centre of illegal strikes and mining labour violence last year in which more than 50 people were killed, including 34 striking miners shot dead at the company's Marikana mine by police.

Friday marks the first anniversary of the Marikana deaths and today's announcement comes amid tough ongoing wage negotiations in the mining sector.

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