Johannesburg, South Africa — 07 June 2012 – South Africa’s radical Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has revealed that it is recruiting at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s top producer of the precious metal “’ a move which could raise concerns among investors about a possible rise in unrest among the workforce.
“We are recruiting at Anglo Platinum “’ we have been invited by the workers,” AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa told a news briefing here. Reuters reports that the union has also started recruiting efforts at Gold Fields, the world’s fourth-largest gold miner.
Mathunjwa denied allegations that the union was using violence and intimidation in its efforts to peel members away from the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
AMCU has already been challenging the NUM at the Rustenburg operations of Impala Platinum, the world No. 2 platinum producer, in a struggle that has taken close to 130,000 ounces out of global production this year because of strikes and stoppages.
The union represents the biggest challenge ever to the NUM’s dominance of South Africa’s mining labour force. The platinum sector in particular is seen as ripe for recruitment because it does not bargain collectively but on a company-by-company basis.
AMCU said it had over 15,000 members at Implats’ Rustenburg operation, which would represent most of the company’s unionised workforce there.
Implats has said it was trying to verify the membership numbers presented to it by AMCU.
But AMCU said the verification process was supposed to have concluded on 25 May, and it had taken the issue the country’s labour mediator.
AMCU also has 3,800 members at the Karee mine operated by Lonmin, the world’s No. 3 platinum producer.
Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.