NUM stays put at its Lonmin offices

2013-07-21 06:00

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will only vacate its Lonmin offices in Marikana when the CCMA has dealt with allegations that rivals Amcu had fraudulently listed NUM members as its own to inflate membership numbers.

Lonmin had only managed to reclaim one of more than eight offices from the NUM on Wednesday after it had failed to recruit enough mine workers to reclaim its majority status.

NUM North West chairperson Richard Mahoa said they would meet Lonmin management soon to discuss when and how NUM would vacate the embattled mine’s various offices.

Lonmin told City Press on Friday that it would not discuss the fracas over the offices publicly because doing so would “stoke the fires” between Amcu and the NUM.

The CCMA – which is investigating the NUM’s allegations of fraudulent membership against Amcu – will now also investigate NUM’s grievances about it being evicted from offices by Lonmin, allegedly without following procedure.

The CCMA adjourned the hearing into the allegations of fraud against Amcu on Wednesday and will resume the hearing on July 31.

Lonmin said, however, that it was also working with the NUM to find a solution.

“The NUM derecognition is a process, not an event, and we are working with relevant parties to ensure it is as smooth as possible. The company is committed to ensuring that all staff representatives and unions will be treated fairly, in accordance with the laws governing collective bargaining,” said Lonmin spokesperson Sue Vey.

Lonmin was also discussing the issue of more than 40 NUM shop stewards who have been left in limbo since their posts will be taken over by Amcu, which now has over 75% of Lonmin workers as its members.

“The NUM shop stewards are being reintegrated into the Lonmin workforce. The jobs they will do are being determined on a case-by-case basis,” said Lonmin’s Vey.

She said their main objective was to ensure stability in the workplace.

Mahoa said the NUM asked Lonmin this week to accommodate its shop stewards within the company’s human resources unit “because the mine can still use these workers because they have skills in conflict resolution, administration and other areas”.

Mahoa said they would not give up their majority status until the matter was adjudicated thoroughly by the CCMA.

“The CCMA still has to make a ruling on our case that members of Amcu are fraudulent and are in fact our members. We will still present our facts to the CCMA about our case when it resumes on July 31,” said Mahoa.

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