NUM must regain majority by July to keep Lonmin offices

The NUM has until July 16 to regain its majority at Lonmin so it can keep its offices at the eastern and western mines in Rustenburg.

This was after the Labour Court in Johannesburg ordered that the 90-day period, in terms of the union’s recognition agreement with the company, would run from April 16 to July 16, spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement today.

“In other words, contrary to Lonmin’s intentions to close NUM offices at these operations on the 30th May 2013, the court has put the date as the 16th of July,” he said.

“Thus, the NUM has until the 16th July to recoup its membership at these operations.”

Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey confirmed the court’s decision.

“There is a... clause, and it’s been mandated by the court,” she said.

“They [NUM] have several offices at several shafts, and that’s a privilege of the majority union.”

Other unions operating on the mine, such as Solidarity, only had one central office. If the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was not able to regain its majority it would then get only one office, said Vey.

The court made its decision yesterday and handed it down today.

Seshoka said the NUM welcomed the order.

“Such an order vindicates our position to continue the occupation of these offices at Lonmin,” he said.

Earlier this month, the mine reportedly announced that NUM’s rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), represented 70% of the workforce at Lonmin.

Amcu now wants recognition rights as a majority union.

Lonmin and Amcu were busy discussing a new recognition agreement at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Last week, Lonmin said no solution had been reached at the CCMA. The company had asked that the matter be resolved through arbitration.

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