Amcu turns to court to stop mines from directly contacting workers

2014-05-14 09:47

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Platinum producers Lonmin, Impala Platinum, and Anglo American Platinum will oppose a court application by Amcu over its direct communication with striking employees.

In a joint statement today, the three companies said its efforts to end an almost four-month-long strike was not in contravention of regulations or agreements.

“The producers reject claims made by Amcu that any of [its actions] contravene the Labour Relations Act, recognition agreements or employees’ constitutional rights,” it said.

The companies would ask the court to endorse their communication efforts to find a resolution.

Sake-Beeld reported that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) had applied for an urgent court interdict to stop the mines from communicating a new wage offer directly to workers.

It wants the court to stop the three mining companies from directly contacting about 70 000 workers.

The mines have been communicating directly with its employees for the past two weeks to convince them to accept a new wage offer made in April.

This came after the employers’ talks with Amcu leaders deadlocked.

Amcu argued in court papers that the SMS campaign and pre-recorded phone messages to workers from the companies breached the recognition agreement with the mining union.

The court will hear the application on Tuesday.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum in Rustenburg and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools in January demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The strike has cost the companies about R14 billion in revenue and workers have lost more than R6 billion in earnings.

Lonmin warned that it might implement restructuring that could lead to job losses if striking mineworkers failed to return to work today.

The company set today as the deadline for employees to end the almost four-month-old strike.

The companies offered Amcu a settlement on April 17. They tabled a wage increase offer of between 7.5% and 10%.

The proposed offer would have seen the minimum cash remuneration for entry-level underground workers rise to R12 500 a month, or R150 000 a year, by July 2017.

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