Today's Labour News

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numFinancial Mail writes that, mindful of the depressed economic environment, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will take a far less militant approach than before to the upcoming wage negotiations in the platinum industry.  

The NUM will seemingly engage with the mining companies to see how further job losses can be avoided.  Displaying none of the militancy that is characteristic of an SA trade unionist, NUM general secretary David Sipunzi indicated:  "We can’t be so naive as to think there will not be any retrenchments.  Commodity prices have been low for a while…  We don’t want to stress the companies any further…  Facing up to reality is what we are doing.  It is not a matter of being sympathetic to the companies."  This was said in relation to the platinum industry, where his NUM lost its majority status to the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (Amcu) over the past four years.  The NUM’s approach is quite a stark difference from Amcu’s approach, which has as its stated goal a minimum monthly wage of R12,500 for the lowest-paid employees.  But, as if to contradict himself, Sipunzi said the union would negotiate "something above [the] inflation [rate]."

  • Read this report by Sikonathi Mantshantsha and Natasha Marrian in full at Financial Mail

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