REMUNERATION AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Amcu and Sasol

The Amcu strike at Sasol Mining is still continuing with a further meeting scheduled for Monday between the parties.

Motor industry and Numsa

Numsa dropped its demands for a one-year agreement and a mega bargaining council opening the way for agreement to be reached in the retail motor industry negotiations.

Numsa also signed a three-year wage deal with the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation who represents the seven locally based vehicle manufacturers. The agreement provides for a 10% increase in the first year followed by 8% increases in the following years. There are also increases to shift and transport allowances and a monthly housing allowance of R500. A R5,000 once-off payment to first-time home owners was also agreed.

However a strike looms in the new tyre manufacturing sector where Numsa applied for
a certificate of non-resolution of a dispute from the commissioner who facilitated the negotiations.  This was refused and the commissioner advised the parties to spend the next two weeks discussing how they could resolve the dispute.

A strike in either the tyre manufacturing sector or the automotive component manufacturing sector, where negotiations have also not yet been concluded, has the potential to halt production by vehicle manufacturers.

Eastern Cape traffic officers

Eastern Cape provincial traffic officers have stopped overtime duties following a long-running dispute with the department of transport over outstanding overtime payments. Led by the Public Servants Association (PSA) services expected to be affected are standbys at events including concerts, sport tournaments and funerals, and road blocks and drunken driving awareness campaigns.

DISPUTES, INDUSTRIAL ACTIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS

Parliament and Nehawu

The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) on Thursday called an end to its strike at Parliament following discussions with management facilitated by the CCMA.  Nehawu members went on an illegal strike last Tuesday, in protest against the suspensions of their colleagues and to call for the resignation of Gengezi Mgidlana, Parliament’s secretary.  The end of the strike sees the union making various compromises as Parliamentary staff members belonging to the union returned to duty at the legislature.

Nelson Mandela Bay refuse strike

Striking Nelson Mandela Bay municipal refuse workers and their bosses have reached a compromise, with the city agreeing to pay a year’s once-off payout that could cost millions of rands.  This is to cushion the blow of taking away the extra R1,300 the more than 100 staff had been receiving illegally every month for the past three years.  The strike, which entered its fourth day on Thursday, is not yet over as the unions and the municipality still have to thrash out the details of the agreement.  One of the issues is finding measures to put in place to ensure a hygienic environment in which the workers can eat their food during breaks.

Telkom and CWU

Most of the striking Communication Workers Union (CWU) members at Telkom returned to work after a month-long strike was suspended, but no deal has yet been reached between the parties.  The CWU began a go-slow at Telkom on 1 August, ramping it up into a full-blown strike on 11 August.  An area of contention was a collaborative partnership agreement Telkom signed with trade unions Solidarity and the SA Communications Union in June.  CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala indicated on Wednesday that the decision by the union’s national executive committee to suspend the strike on 9 September was on the basis that Telkom had ‘come to the party’ on some of the union’s demands.  He added:  “We have not reached any agreement yet, because there are other areas outstanding.  The difference though is that we at least now feel there is a conducive environment to engage …”

Nehawu and Durban’s Dube TradePort

A strike scheduled by the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at Durban’s Dube TradePort was called off.  This followed an “amicable” agreement between the parties relating to a dispute over recognition of the union.  Dube TradePort‚ a government project next to King Shaka International Airport‚ is an industrial development zone with airfreight facilities.  Apart from the recognition dispute‚ the parties had also been deadlocked on an issue relating to management wage grading.

TAC, Section27 and Free State hospital strike

The Treatment Action Campaign and Section27 have called on President Jacob Zuma to intervene in the Free State where a hospital strike over overtime pay at one hospital has led to overcrowding at various surrounding hospitals.  Staff at the Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Regional Hospital (MMMRH) in Phuthaditjhaba, QwaQwa, are reportedly on strike due to lack of payment for overtime worked.  The provincial health department said it was shocked to learn about the MMMRH strike as an agreement had been reached with union Nehawu and it had been agreed that staff would return to the hospital with immediate effect.

JOB MARKET, JOB CREATION, RESTRUCTURING AND RETRENCHMENTS

Diro Manganese

Mineworkers allegedly owed R28 million by a company owned by former Northern Cape premier Manne Dipico have been forced to sleep on the streets of Tshwane.  This came after they were evicted from the company premises by masked security guards.  It is alleged that more than 250 workers of Diro Manganese in the Northern Cape have not been paid their salaries since April.

About 40 workers drove from the Northern Cape to the Diro offices in Centurion to demand payment and on Thursday they were joined by more employees.  Initially, they slept at Diro’s offices, but on Tuesday night they were allegedly evicted from the company premises by security guards.

COMMUNITY, LEGAL AND GENERAL

Hearing into challenges of mining communities

The media reports that, barring a few exceptions, submissions from government departments at the national hearing on the socio-economic challenges facing mining-affected communities left a lot to be desired.  The first two days of the hearing, held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), saw government representatives who were ill-prepared, while others provided totally inaccurate information.

“The commission put some very direct questions to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and, for the most part, they responded inadequately, in my opinion,” said Catherine Horsfield of the Centre for Environmental Rights.  The DMR also came under fire from a number of non-governmental organisations like the Bench Marks Foundation and the Legal Resources Centre.  The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLF) was considered to be the worst of the bunch.  Suffice to say, the commissioners were not impressed.  The hearing will resume on the 26th and 28th of September, when it will hear from mining companies, municipalities, communities.

SAFETY AND HEALTH

Mining industry commemorates the 1986 Kinross mine disaster

On 16 September 1986, 177 mineworkers were killed at Kinross Mine in one of South Africa’s worst mine disasters.  On Friday about 4,000 people representative of the industry attended the 30th anniversary commemoration at Evander Gold Mine in Mpumalanga

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