Amcu-NUM rivalry may be behind Northam strike

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Cape Town - The underlying cause of the wildcat strike by National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members at the Northam [JSE:NHM] Zondereinde mine in Limpopo may be inter-union rivalry. According to strikers at the mine, they downed tools because of “unfair hiring practices”.

However, the strike also coincides with the granting of recognition status to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) that already dominates workforces on the major platinum producers.

Amcu was ruled to have passed the 15% of membership demanded for recognition.

There are now reports that Amcu members, who did not join the strike, have been chased from mine accommodation. Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa has also confirmed that he has sent a letter to President Jacob Zuma regarding events at the mine.  

Although he refused to divulge the contents of the letter, it is understood that it relates to claims of intimidation by NUM, in violation of a “peace accord” signed by that union with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Talks were still under way on Friday afternoon among mine officials and union members.

Nobody was available to comment.  

At the Zondereinde mine, telephones remained unanswered.

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