AMCU president
Joseph Mathunjwa
Johannesburg, South Africa — 08 October 2013 – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will resist the retrenchment of permanent workers while labour brokers and contractors are "protected" by Anglo Platinum (Amplats).   

Fin24 quotes AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa as saying that the union had a specific mandate from members not to accept retrenchments while Amplats had not explored all possible alternatives as envisaged in the labour legislation. He accused Amplats of protecting the interests of labour hire contractors at the expense of its own workers.

“One of the fundamental sticking points in the draft agreement is the issue of retrenching affected workers while the company still engages volumes of labour hire contractors who are performing core functions that our affected members can perform,” said Mathunjwa.

“Government must take drastic steps by taking back their licences and awarding them to companies which would serve the nation. The government must call the shots,” he said.

AMCU members downed tools two weeks ago over plans by Amplats to retrench 3 300 employees at its Rustenburg operations. Mathunjwa said no employee should be terminated while there were labour contractors performing core functions.

Of the workers targeted for retrenchments, 1248 were to be retained by Amplats for a further six months for removal of underground equipment from its three closed shafts.

“AMCU wants these employees to remain as permanent workers until their termination date. Where re-skilling is required for such redeployment, the company must commit to retrain the employees considered for such positions so that they are eligible for re-employment.”

He added that in the event of some of them not being redeployed, they would be eligible for voluntary separation packages.

Amcu would wait for Amplats investigation report on current contractors performing core functions, and would consult on alternatives to retrenchments based on the report.

“We are urging the company to suspend the termination of affected employees who have been issued with notices of termination, until such time as engagements have been concluded,” Mathunjwa said.

He said Amplats had refused to consider a government lay-off scheme, which was subsidised by 75%

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.