Johannesburg, South Africa — 30 May 2013 – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) still has 90 days to either regain majority membership at Lonmin’s Marikana mine or vacate its offices there, according to a ruling in the Labour Court.

NUM used to be the majority at the Lonmin mine, however the company said the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is now the majority union.

Fin24 reports that AMCU has over 70% of the membership of Marikana miners, and it wants recognition rights as a majority union.

The Labour Court ordered that the 90-day period, in terms of the union’s recognition agreement with the company, would run from April 16 to July 16, NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement. “Thus, the NUM has until July 16 to recoup its membership at these operations,” he added.

Lonmin spokesperson Sue Vey confirmed the court’s decision. If the NUM was not able to regain its majority it would then get only one office, she said.

The court made its decision on Tuesday and handed it down on Wednesday.

Seshoka said the NUM welcomed the order.

"Such an order vindicates our position to continue the occupation of these offices at Lonmin," he said.

Lonmin and AMCU are busy discussing a new recognition agreement at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The company said no solution had been reached, and asked that the matter be resolved through arbitration. It pointed out that the court order did not preclude the company and AMCU from continuing with arbitration proceedings or from concluding a recognition agreement.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.