Today's Labour News

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gideonduplessisSolidarity’s general secretary, Gideon du Plessis, writes about the call made by Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter in a New Year’s message for “collaborative leadership among interested parties” to “make mining matter” in 2018.  

Du Plessis notes that, although the Chamber committed itself to playing a key leadership role in 2018, collaborative leadership will be difficult because the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the large mining unions have been compromised precisely owing to unethical leadership.  Moreover, although most mining houses have competent CEOs, their leadership problems lie at mine level, where the obsolete autocratic management style is still prevalent, resulting in conflict with unions.  For example, it was accepted initially that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (Amcu’s) militant approach was the cause of the regular unprotected industrial action at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu Mine.  But on closer examination it was found that management’s obsolete management style of ‘I say, you do’ was the major factor in the regular conflict.  Assertive union regional leaders were consequently fighting fire with fire.  Du Plessis says that mining houses will have to urgently address their mid-level leadership problem, because this is the level where labour relations are being exercised.  Participative leadership and cajolery at executive level is useless if not embraced at all levels.  Apart from this, the weakest link in the sector’s leadership chain is argued to be Mosebenzi Zwane, Minister of Mineral Resources.

  • Read this interesting analysis in full at Miningmx


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