The Sasol Mining strike by Amcu is still continuing with back-to-back meetings scheduled between Sasol and Amcu to resolve the strike action. With the Platinum agreements in place Amcu is now focusing its senior resources and attention to resolve the Sasol strike.
Uasa unhappy with Amcu/Amplats agreement
The United Association of SA (Uasa), one of the minority unions at Amplats, claims in a statement that the recent wage agreement signed between Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was “unlawful” because it “completely” excluded Uasa and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which is contrary to the terms of the Employment Relations Agreement. Uasa and the NUM have apparently jointly placed Amplats on terms to comply with the ERA, “failing which urgent court action shall follow.” Uasa wants its annual wage negotiations with Amplats, and that of the NUM, to be continued with in compliance with ERA.
Numsa and retail motor industry
A three-year wage agreement between the retail motor industry and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) seems imminent. Irvin Jim, Numsa general secretary, indicated that the union had met negotiators from the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and the parties had exchanged views and clarified their positions. Following the exchange, the RMI has submitted a final settlement offer for consideration.
Bacalum manufacturers (glass and aluminum manufacturers)
East London-based Bacalum Manufacturers is heading for a legal strike and possible lockout over wages and conditions on 14 November. Numsa is demanding 10% for the 120 workers at the company whilst the company is standing firm on 7%. Arcadia-based firm, while the company has apparently refused to budge from a 7% offer. The offer is in line with the recommendations of the Master Builders’ Association (MBA).
JOB MARKET, JOB CREATION, RESTRUCTURING AND RETRENCHMENTS
Cosatu opposed to employment tax incentive
Labour federation Cosatu has intensified its opposition to the employment tax incentive because of the government’s refusal to exclude labour brokers from the scheme. Cosatu indicated that the federation was going to support the latest incentive, but rejected it because Cosatu’s demand for the exclusion of labour broking companies and outsourced services providers was ignored.
The state has initiated a review of the incentive legislation, which expires in December. Submissions from a range of stakeholders will be heard in Parliament on Wednesday.
SAHRC inquiry into mining living conditions
SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has criticized municipal and national government officials for not answering key questions in an investigation into socioeconomic conditions in mining communities. The last of the hearings, last Thursday in Johannesburg, looked into living conditions in mining areas, especially in Mpumalanga. The commissioners heard submissions from mining companies and representatives of mining-heavy municipalities, but they were unhappy that the questions posed to some of the mining houses, municipalities and the national government were not answered.
Victor Khanye Local Municipality was chastised for sending a junior official to the hearing and a presentation by Department of Mineral Resources’ deputy director-general Joel Raphela drew serious criticism.
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND GENERAL
Amplats and Lonmin: Indebted employees
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Lonmin are saving employees more than R40m annually in debt repayments, after reducing emoluments attachment orders (EAOs) and lowering interest rates on unpaid debt. Amplats was saving nearly 2,100 employees R33.4m in annual debt repayments, CEO Chris Griffith said on Wednesday. Lonmin had reduced the debt owed by employees by R7m through its EAO review programme and had stopped 573 EAOs in the past 12 months, HR executive Abey Kgotle said. Following the Marikana massacre, the mining sector introduced various measures to tackle miners’ employee indebtedness. Amplats and Lonmin contracted Summit Financial Partners to audit their EAOs, as well as provide debt restructuring services and financial literacy training to employees.
Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)
The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) has reported its lowest investment return since the financial crisis. Its annual report released last Wednesday indicated that it received a 4% return on its investments during the year to March, slightly below its benchmark 4.4%, and a steep fall from last year’s 10.2%. Contributions received and accrued by the fund rose by R4bn to R60bn during the financial year, in line with an increase in the number of its active members and salary increases.
Racist Facebook posts
The decision by Interflex Conveyor Belting in Durban to suspend its Chairman (Will MacGibbon) who wrote on Facebook that Indians were “low-class rubbish with no morals”, has been seen by race experts as a step in the right direction. The ANC and SA Hindu Maha Sabha have laid charges of crimen injuria against MacGibbon and Dawie Kriel, another Durban man who had made similar offensive comments on Facebook.