The New Age reports that allegations of misconduct, power abuse and unfair appointments at SA National Defence Force (SANDF) bases came to light at a parliamentary portfolio committee meeting on defence. Committee chairperson Malusi Motimele said Parliament should be briefed on whether promotions policies were in place and if these were explained to members. “The issues raised would be revisited once defence and military veterans [departments] have investigated and reported on them,” he said.
This short report is on page 7 of Wednesday’s The New Age
Amcu weighs participation in centralised gold wage talks
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 09:21
David McKay reports that the Associated Mineworkers & Construction Union (Amcu) is considering joining the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and Uasa in this year's round of centralised gold industry wage bargaining at the Chamber of Mines. "We will submit wage demands next week and then announce a decision on whether to join the central bargaining system," said Joseph Mathunjwa, president of Amcu. Elize Strydom of the Chamber said her team had met with Amcu representatives and briefed the union on the process in the central wage bargaining forum. "We have met with Amcu. It asked detailed questions on how the process works. There is a probability of Amcu joining the centralised wage bargaining unit, but it will want to get a mandate from its members first," Strydom said.
Cosatu, Lanxess chrome mine talks to continue on Wednesday
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:37
SABC News reports that negotiations are set to continue on Wednesday between Cosatu and the Lanxess chrome mine management over an illegal strike and clashes with security guards, which injured 15 mineworkers. Striking miners want annual performance bonuses. Lanxess head of HR, Mduduzi Mtshali, said on Tuesday: “We've had meetings with the Cosatu delegation together with NUM and our shop stewards and we have adjourned the meeting so that we can then further deliberate this matter with our German counterparts or principals.” Cosatu's North West Secretary, Solly Phetoe has called for criminal charges to be laid against mine security guards.
Tinkering with labour law no solution to conflict: Steven Freidman
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:09
Well-known commentator Steven Friedman writes that real problem with bargaining between employers and unions is not the rules that govern it, but the society in which it happens, which is why changing the bargaining rules will solve nothing. While there seems to be agreement that our labour relations trigger too much conflict, suggestions to deal with this range from complex proposals by labour lawyers to vague appeals to the bargaining parties to behave better. But, says Friedman, we have conflict because a wide gulf separates the parties and until society tackles the larger issue, serious conflict in the workplace will remain a problem. The issue is not how unions and employers talk to each other across the bargaining table, but whether they talk to each other about these bigger problems. This explains why proposals for labour law changes promise more than they can deliver. Instead, seeking compromise solutions to the poverty and inequality that is the key reason for labour conflict is a far greater priority than tinkering with labour law.
Amcu fears for members’ safety after alleged assassination attempt foiled
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 06:59
SABC News reports that Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has again raised concerns about the safety of union members after an attempt to assassinate a member was allegedly foiled on Monday. An Amcu member who is a security guard at one of Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) shafts in Rustenburg claimed he was approached by a suspicious man who introduced to himself as a police investigator. Upon interrogating him, he reportedly fled in a bakkie with false number plates. Mathunjwa said the matter had been reported to the mine security and a case of intimidation had been opened with the Rustenburg police.
PIC deserves praise for outing remuneration committees on poor disclosure
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 09:31
Ann Crotty says it’s full marks to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for taking its role as a responsible investor seriously and telling the emperors on all those remuneration committees that they are wearing no clothes. The PIC, which manages R1 trillion on behalf of the Government Employees’ Pension Fund, has just updated its record of voting at annual general meetings. The update reveals that more than 50% of the companies that held annual general meetings in the six months to the end of March did not provide sufficient information for the PIC, as a shareholder, to understand why executives were being paid what they were being paid. Crotty says the biggest challenge for remuneration committees these past few years has been how to pay their executives more money while having to report weaker profits.
David McKay reports that Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and unions are to resume Section 189 restructuring talks relating to the platinum firm's Rustenburg shafts on Friday, 24 May. Amplats said the process, which will fall under the auspices of the CCMA, may save yet more jobs than first envisaged in its revised restructuring announced on 10 May. "We have agreed on proposals that we intend to thrash out further at the CCMA. It may have the result of saving more jobs," said Mpumi Sithole, a spokesperson for the company. In its revised restructuring, Amplats said it would cut the number of planned retrenchments to 6,000 from 14,000.
Reports of possible job losses of 2,000 at BHP Billiton SA
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:27
Sowetan reports that mixed information is trickling out in relation to the number of people that BHP Billiton plans to retrench in SA. While the United Association of SA (Uasa) said so-called ‘Section 189” notices of possible retrenchments had been sent to 2,000 workers, BHP Billiton Energy Coal SA (Becsa) said it planned “rationalising approximately 100 staff” at its head office It expects to complete the consultation process by the end of June. A highly-placed sources in the company told Sowetan that it aimed to part ways with 2,800 workers. Uasa spokesman Franz Stehring confirmed that consultations were taking place, but commented that, once over, the number of job losses “is going to be far less than 2,000.” Solidarity was not aware of the retrenchments, while the NUM said it had only heard of plans to lay off 30 administrative staff.
Read this report on page 22 of Wednesday’s Sowetan
Cosatu to brief media on Wednesday on e-tolls protests
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 07:20
Cosatu yesterday issued a statement indicating it would brief the media on Wednesday about final preparations for its continuing protest against the e-tolls system. Last week Cosatu vowed it would shut down Gauteng's highways later this month to protest against e-tolling and labour brokers. This was after discussions with both the Gauteng and national governments in an attempt to persuade them to take action on these points did not yield any positive outcomes, according to the federation’s Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile. Two protests have been planned. The first march on 24 May in Johannesburg would affect the M1, N1, N12, and M2. The second would be held in Ekurhuleni on 31 May, affecting the N3, N12, and R21. Cosatu has also signalled its intention to stage various protest actions in June, including a possible night vigil at the SA National Roads Agency’s office.
‘Incredibly steep’ NUM demands shock mining sector
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 06:45
Allan Seccombe reports that the Chamber of Mines has described the National Union of Mineworkers’ (NUM’s) demands for this year’s wage talks as "incredibly steep", and an analyst has warned that the NUM was continuing down the road of "labour suicide", as fuller details of the demands emerged. Apart from the demand for a 60% increase for entry-level wages, the NUM also wants the monthly housing allowance raised to R8,000 from R1,800, a 344% increase, and the living-out allowance for workers opting not to stay in mine accommodation bumped up to R3,000 a month from R1,650. Analysts say the NUM is desperate to recapture the high ground after being marginalised by its rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), on platinum mines and three key gold mines in 2012. Solidarity, which represents a much narrower band of workers, has demanded a 10% wage hike.