JOHANNESBURG, April 9 – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Tuesday condemned Sibanye-Stillwater (Sibanye), saying that the verification process that gave the miner the right to declare the union’s ongoing strike unprotected was “flawed”.
On Monday, Sibanye said it had completed an independent exercise into union membership verification at its South African gold operations.
Sibanye said the process showed that the movement in union membership of its employees supported management’s position that as of February 18, unions NUM, UASA and Solidarity collectively represented the majority of employees at its operations.
Sibanye said it intended to approach the Labour Court to declare the current Amcu strike unprotected.
In a statement, Amcu said it was not properly involved in the process and, despite various concerns being raised, the “flawed” results were announced by a private and independent dispute resolution company, Tokiso, which was appointed by Sibanye.
Amcu said it filed a 14-page dispute letter outlining the various flaws in the process relating to various aspects including the procurement of the provider, the unilateral brief to the provider and the superficial consultative process that followed, and raised serious concerns about the methodology employed by Tokiso.
“The dispute filed by Amcu also criticized Tokiso for not being fair, transparent and independent. The process was not fair, because it was intentionally biased to suit the needs of one party, Sibanye,” Amcu said
“Key pieces of information were intentionally omitted from the terms of reference and from the report, and Amcu was rendered unable to appoint observers to verify the fairness of the process.
“The process was not independent, because one party dictated how the process was designed and implemented. The fact that one party procured and paid for the process also poses inherent challenges to any claims of independence.”
Amcu said it will attend the disputed meeting on Tuesday and issue a further statement with greater detail after the outcome has been announced.
About 15,000 Amcu members have been on strike at Sibanye’s Kloof, Beatrix and Driefontein mines for four months.
The union is refusing a three-year wage agreement signed by the mine and three other unions and is demanding a R1,000 annual wage increase for the next three years.
– African News Agency (ANA)