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AMCU National Office addresses members at Harmony’s Gold Masimong Mine

7 October 2018

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (AMCU) National Office met with all the branch members from the Free State region at a central mass meeting held at Masimong’s Harmony Gold Mine in Welkom on Sunday, 7 October 2018.

AMCU’s National Office was represented by National Treasurer Comrade Jimmy Gama and General Secretary Comrade Jeff Mphahlele who updated members on the recent developments in relation to the gold wage negotiations and the subsequent issuing of a strike certificate by the CCMA.

Both Comrade Mphahlele and Comrade Gama meticulously explained to the members at Masimong on AMCU’s position consequent to National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), UASA and Solidarity all signing premature wage agreements with Harmony.

Owing to NUM’s feeble negotiating astuteness in the wage talks in the gold sector that commenced in July 2018, AMCU have now been extended the deal signed by NUM due to the fact that they (NUM) are the majority union at Harmony Gold.

Harmony Gold Mine’s wage deal with the unions comprised of an increase amounting to R700 in Year 1; R750 in Year 2 and R825 in Year 3 for category 4-8 underground and surface workers for the course of the wage agreement.
For miners, artisans and officials the deal included increases of 6.3% for all the three years of the wage agreement.

Despite being in possession of a strike certificate, AMCU cannot legally mount a strike under section 23 the Labour Relations Act which states that a bargaining council may monitor and enforce compliance with its collective agreements in terms of this section or a collective agreement concluded by the parties to the council.

Comrade Mphahlele made an impassionate plea to AMCU members to continue the struggle in bringing the light to other mine workers in the Free State.
“AMCU is here to change the lives of mine workers throughout the country. We need to be the bearers of hope, so we are enabled to change people’s lives, but to do this we need to grow and become a majority and achieve the impact we achieved in the platinum belt,” said Comrade Mphahlele.

Meanwhile, Comrade Gama expressed disappointment in the fact that this agreement was far from the mandate of the members and encouraged all the AMCU branches to continue the commendable work they have done in growing the membership.
Currently AMCU has a strike certificate to go on strike at Sibanye Stillwater as no deal has been signed with that specific gold company with any of the Unions.

The strike action comes after the wage negotiations that began on 11 July 2018. Workers are demanding a R1,000 increase per year while the companies are offering R650 for the first year, R700 for second year and R825 for the third year.

AMCU will also be striking for other conditions of employment.

“Today you (members) are giving us a mandate to give Sibanye-Stillwater 48 hours before we go on strike. You are not going to lose anything by going on strike because you have nothing. South Africa’s natural resources are for us Africans. This exploitation must come to an end. Let us show the capitalist that we can unite as Africans. The strike will commence on 21 November 2018. We have nothing more to say to Sibanye-Stillwater. If they wish to meet with us with a view of resolving the dispute, we shall make ourselves available during the notice period,” said President Mathunjwa.