Today's Labour News

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numMail & Guardian reports that more than a thousand National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members in Klerksdorp have defected to the rival National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) because of factional battles.  This could cost the NUM its position as the majority union in the area.  

The NUM represents 59% of all mineworkers in the gold sector, but represents only 55% of workers in its Matlosana region, which covers the Klerksdorp area.  Members from mines in the area left the NUM after accusing the Matlosana regional leaders of tribalism because the members have been excluded from an upcoming regional conference.  They said isiXhosa-speaking people were being parachuted in to head the NUM’s offices.  This week, NUM general secretary David Sipunzi confirmed the exodus but said the exact numbers and reasons workers are leaving was underplayed at a national executive committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend.  The incumbent regional officials are known to back NUM president Piet Matosa, who is involved in a bitter factional battle with Sipunzi over competing loyalty and dominance of the union.  Sipunzi has now called for the union to conduct a fact-finding mission and visit the area to arrest membership losses.  Meantime, Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said he was delighted by the workers joining Numsa and predicted the downfall of the NUM.

  • Read this report by Govan Whittles in full at M&G

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