Johannesburg, South Africa — 15 June 2012 – Impala Platinum Holdings Limited “’ the world’s number two platinum producer whose main Rustenburg mine was halted by a battle for control between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union “’ expects to reveal next week how many members each of the unions now has.
Bloomberg News cites an Impala spokesman as saying that the numbers will show that neither union had recruited more than 50% plus one of the mine’s workforce. Not all workers belong to unions.
AMCU claimed last week that it had recruited about half the 30,000 workforce and was winning members daily. The NUM is historically the dominant union at Rustenburg. It’s been the only union management that is allowed to negotiate with mine management on wages and other labour matters.
AMCU said last week that Impala should have verified the union membership numbers by 25 May, and have awarded the union organisational rights. It asked the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to rule on the matter.
The hearing will be held 21 June, although releasing the union membership numbers before the hearing may settle the dispute prior to the hearing.
“I think sanity will prevail,” said the Impala spokesman. “I hope the unions will be able to sit around a table.” Impala said on 29 May that labour matters could be discussed in a multi- union committee.
A six-week strike from the middle of January cost Impala more than 120,000 ounces of platinum production and had a “severe impact” on costs, the company said last month. Impala accounts for about a quarter of global platinum supply.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.