Amcu in the clear as labour registrar decides not to strip it of union status

In April, it emerged that the Amcu was in danger of losing its status as a trade u​nion. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

In April, it emerged that the Amcu was in danger of losing its status as a trade u​nion. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

The registration of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is no longer in jeopardy.

According to a statement issued by the department of employment and labour on Monday, labour registrar Lehlohonolo Molefe has decided not to continue with the deregistration of the trade union.

The decision follows submissions regarding the union’s plans to hold its national congress later this month.

In April, it emerged that the Amcu — which rose to prominence during the labour unrest which led to the Marikana massacre in 2012 — was in danger of losing its status as a trade union when the office of the labour registrar issued a notice of its intent to cancel the registration.

The reasons provided include that the union has “ceased to function in terms of its constitution” and that the “trade union is not a genuine trade union as envisaged in the [Labour Relations] Act”.

In a statement following the notice, Molefe said Amcu’s failure to hold a congress was in contravention of the unions own constitution. Amcu last held an elective congress in 2013.

“Since 2015 up to 2018, there have been numerous letters to Amcu requesting the date of their national congress without success,” Molefe said in a statement issued by the department.

“The registrar said every time they enquired about the union’s national congress, AMCU has on several occasions come with excuses.”

Amcu had last year undertaken to hold its national congress in May 2019, but when contacted about this by the registrar in February, the union said it was concerned over the “unusual attention” the union was paying to it.

“Amcu accused this office of lacking consistency in the approach when it comes to unions,” said Molefe.

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According to Monday’s statement, subsequent to the issuing of a notice by the registrar to deregister the Amcu, a meeting was held at the union’s request. “In that meeting Amcu made further submissions on the preparation for the national congress,” the statement reads.

The union is scheduled to hold a national congress on September 18, Molefe said.

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit

Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law. Read more from Sarah Smit

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