The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will on Tuesday march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria and other provinces against job losses in South Africa’s mining sector, the trade union said in a statement.
The union members will march in at least four South African provinces against what the union calls a “jobs blood bath” in the mining sector.
As Political Analysis reported, AMCU’s President Joseph Mathunjwa said AMCU had filed a section 77 notice to the National Economic Development Labour Council (Nedlac) with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) as the respondent.
Section 77 of the LRA gives trade union formations the right to engage in protected industrial action regarding socioeconomic matters, which are of broader public and class interest.
Mathunjwa said the AMCU was very worried at the Department of Mineral Resources’ series of regulatory shortcomings.
“AMCU showed how these regulatory failures led to a variety of socio-economic ills such as unemployment, poverty and inequality in the South African society. These three core challenges, we argued, are made even worse by the mass retrenchments of the past years and specifically during the latter part of 2017,” he said.
The union is worried at statistics of high job losses in the mining sector, which employs about 500 000 people.
AMCU has expressed at the unfairness of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), which grants mining companies carte blanche to fire workers in the event of poor performance and disregards the rights of workers.
“The section allows an employer to dismiss employees for operational requirements or reasons. A portion of subsection two stipulates that, “the employer and the other consulting parties must… engage in a meaningful joint consensus-seeking process and attempt to reach consensus on appropriate measures to avoid the dismissals [and] to minimise the number of dismissals. Yet, during the period 2012 to 2017, some 70 000 mineworkers lost their jobs”
The marches will be in Pretoria, Welkom, Durban and Polokwane and will start at 9 AM. In Pretoria, a memorandum will be delivered to the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe. Separate memoranda will be delivered to DMR offices in the other three provinces.