Today's Labour News

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amcu thumb medium80 81Mail & Guardian reports that staff at the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have been in a prolonged battle with their employer over wages but are too afraid to strike, despite a certificate that allows them to do so.  

The union that has famously fought for better wages for mineworkers has itself been dragged to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for failing to meet its own employees’ demands.  Even though two certificates permitting a protected strike to go ahead have been issued, none of the workers would confirm when or if the strike would happen, saying instead that employees were afraid to go on strike after four workers who raised issues were fired.  One worker claimed the situation inside Amcu was unbearable and any kind of dissenting voice was silenced very quickly.  “Those who were part of taking the issues to the head office and ending up at the CCMA are either fired or have been intimidated.  Everyone is afraid to be the next one out or dead,” said one source.  The issues raised with Amcu head office allegedly included how the union’s president Joseph Mathunjwa took unilateral decisions about pay increases and bonuses.  Mathunjwa commented:  “Our employees have rights and recourse in law as any other workers.”  He added that Amcu was a progressive organisation with a competitive benefit system and provided performance bonuses to its employees at the end of each year.

  • Read this report by Athandiwe Saba in full at M&G

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