AMCU coal, gold strike not approved: Nedlac

By Drum Digital
28 March 2014

Amcu's application for its members in the coal and gold sectors to strike in solidarity with its members in the platinum sector has been turned down, Nedlac said on Friday. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was informed of its decision, the National Economic Development and Labour Council said.

"...The application falls outside of the scope of protected protest action," Nedlac said.

On Thursday, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said the union had approached Nedlac with the application.

"We want our workers in the gold and coal sectors to join us," he told striking Amcu platinum workers at a march in Johannesburg.

Amcu could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday. The union's members in the platinum mines in Rustenburg, North West, and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools on January 23 demanding a minimum salary of R12,500 a month.

Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin offered to increase salaries by nine percent. The union rejected the offer and revised its demand to have the minimum wage phased in over four years. The companies rejected the revised demand, stating it amounted to a 30 percent increase year-on-year.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) has been mediating talks aimed at resolving the strike, but these have stalled as the parties are "too far apart".

The CCMA decided to engage with the union and employers separately, and mediators met Amcu on Wednesday, CCMA spokeswoman Laura Mseme said in a statement.

The CCMA would meet the platinum producers on Monday.

"CCMA director Nerine Kahn reiterated that the dispute is of a complex nature and that the CCMA is working with the parties in finding a mutually beneficial and jointly agreed solution," Mseme said.


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