Marikana Mine, South Africa — 27 August 2012 – The South African government has agreed with gold and platinum mining companies to create a system to centralise negotiations with unions on labour issues, in the wake of Marikana mine violence in which 44 people were killed in clashes.
The Chamber of Mines, executives of mining companies, mines minister Susan Shabangu and labour minister Mildred Oliphant have met here to discuss the issue, Shabangu’s ministry said in an e- mailed statement quoted by Bloomberg News. The system would formalise talks between employers and employees, the ministry added.
“The current status quo wherein each company negotiates individually has created opportunity for non-recognised labour structures to make demands outside the agreed and recognised forums,” the ministry said.
President Jacob Zuma named a three-person panel to investigate the deaths of miners, police and security guards at Lonmin’s Marikana mine earlier this month. The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the nation’s largest trade federation, and Johannesburg-based Lonmin have said that a splinter union sparked a protest among rock drillers at the platinum mine.
Cosatu has said that it will not allow member National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to lose influence because of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which has been recruiting its members.
Lonmin had declined 45% in the past year to 640 pence by the close in London on Friday. The company’s eastern shafts were operating from Saturday with a 57% workers’ attendance rate, Lonmin said in a statement. The rest of its mines in the area were shut for a scheduled “off-weekend,” while talks continue to resolve the situation, it added.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.