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NUM members denied access to Impala, says Cosatu

Sapa

Following wage negotiations in the platinum sector, which ended in June, the trade federation says NUM members are being denied access to Impala.

If there was no change before the end of next week, Cosatu says it would approach Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi for assistance. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members are being denied access to Impala Platinum (Implats) operations in the North West, Cosatu said on Monday.

“Management have been engaging with the federation for some time since 2012 until when the [platinum] strike started,” provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said in a statement. Discussions were suspended so Implats could focus on their negotiations with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) during the five-month long strike in the platinum sector. 

The platinum strike came to an end on June 24, having begun on January 23 when Amcu members at Lonmin, Implats, and Anglo American Platinum downed tools, demanding a monthly basic salary of R12 500. 

After five months of negotiations, Amcu announced on June 23 that the platinum strike was officially over and it would sign wage agreements with the platinum producers. Phetoe said Cosatu had presented Implats with a memorandum in April and had not received a response until Monday. 

The main issue was the safety of NUM members, according to Phoete, and Implats needing to produce a security assessment plan for shop stewards and members seeking to return to work. 

“Now management are saying that the NUM must not come. Even workers who are rejoining the NUM are denied entry by management,” he said. “Management, however, could not produce a security plan in writing but were saying that everything is safe, our members can come back.” 

He called upon Implats chief executive Terence Goodlace to take the issue of security seriously and act against anyone who disrespected company and mine policy. If there was no change before the end of next week, Cosatu would approach Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi for assistance. Implats was not immediately available for comment. – Sapa

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