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20 Jan 2014 14:02
North West Premier Thandi Modise in Parliament. (Gallo)
North West Premier Thandi Modise says the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu)? should protect the rights of non-striking workers as the union prepares to go on strike later this week.
"We respect Amcu's choice to exercise its constitutional right to strike having complied with provisions of the Labour Relations Act," the premier said in a statement on Monday.
"We would in the same breath also appreciate if the union can ensure that the rights of non-striking workers are respected and that violence is avoided at all costs during the planned strikes."
Earlier on Monday, Amcu announced it would embark on a strike in both the platinum and gold sectors after issuing employers of both sectors with strike notices.
Amcu treasurer Jimmy Gama confirmed the strike notices had been issued.
"We have been negotiating with the employers through the CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] for some time," he said.
"After we obtained the CCMA certificates for all the companies, we continued as Amcu in believing in the negotiation process to try and not come to a stage where there is strike action."
The CCMA said on Friday that Amcu had been issued with non-resolution certificates for the platinum sector, after negotiations with Lonmin Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum had deadlocked.
This was after the union had referred separate disputes with the three companies to the commission in October and November last year.
Amcu is the dominant union in the platinum sector.
Gama said Amcu had met employers after the strike notices were issued, but the meetings did not have a positive outcome.
"We have consulted our members, and unfortunately this is the next step that is to be taken," he said.
Modise hoped both parties would still be able to address their concerns ahead of the planned strike on Thursday.
"We will always encourage frank and honest discussions as we are convinced that such dialogue is a demonstration of commitment by all stakeholders to peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit," she said.
Amcu is demanding an entry-level monthly salary of R12 500. – Sapa
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