NUM lost nearly 20,000 members in a year

By Drum Digital
02 July 2014

The National Union of Mineworkers lost nearly 20,000 members in the past year, its secretary general said.

The National Union of Mineworkers lost nearly 20,000 members in the past year, its secretary general said on Wednesday.

Its numbers fell from 294,370 in May 2013 to 275,000 at present, Frans Baleni told delegates at NUM's central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg.

This was a loss of 19,370 members.

During the five-month-long platinum strike, NUM lost its majority status at platinum mines to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

Baleni said the decrease was not only due to miners joining Amcu, but to retrenchments.

He accused the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) of poaching members from other unions, including NUM, to grow its membership to become the Congress of SA Trade Unions' leading affiliate.

"Numsa has weakened these important structures which can only advance the interest of the enemy class," he said.

"Numsa has even gone to unions such as Solidarity asking them to join Numsa, with Solidarity refusing and indicating that it does not support socialism."

Numsa decided at its December 2013 to not support the ANC during the general elections in May. The union has since called for a Cosatu special congress.

"Numsa has gone out to attack Cosatu from within," Baleni said.

"It has become difficult to distinguish between the actions of Amcu and Numsa."

-SAPA

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