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Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) marched to the offices of South Deep mine today which is part of Gold Fields and is based in Westonaria. Our members are fed up with the management of the mine who are actively obstructing the union from being recognized and gaining organizational rights. Our demands are simple. We demand organizational rights so that we can freely serve our members and defend them in the workplace. We have met the threshold to be recognized and we reject the reactionary behaviour of South Deep management which has been to frustrate NUMSA members in an attempt to prevent them from joining the union of their choice.
We reminded the management that the right to freedom of association is a constitutional right which is guaranteed in our legislation. Since NUMSA started recruiting members at South Deep, we have witnessed how the management of the mine is in cahoots with other unions, and it has consistently sought to be gatekeepers, union bashers and anti-NUMSA and against its members as it has systematically blocked the union from enjoying organisational rights.
We handed over a memorandum of demands to the management to demand the following:
1. We demand that NUMSA members be treated fairly and equally in the workplace and not to be subjected to any form of intimidation, victimisation or any workplace bullying towards them.
2. We are also demanding that our members’ cancellation/stop order forms from their former unions to be processed without any delays from the payroll departmental staff. Our members still suffer deductions of subscriptions by the former unions even though they have submitted the stop orders indicating that they are NUMSA members and have broken ties with former unions.
3. It is common cause that the CCMA awarded NUMSA sections 12 & 13 of the Labour Relations Act. We are aware that as management you have taken a decision to review this award and we interpret that as a delay tactic and a barricade to us getting our well-deserved organisational rights. As per the award of the CCMA we are demanding that all monies deducted from our members as agency fee instead of NUMSA subscription, be paid to NUMSA retrospectively.
4. We have submitted more than 800 membership forms subsequent to the review award, and under a new CCMA application of section 21 Organisational Rights. In the conciliation process parties could not agree. We therefore demand that we be granted organisational rights as we have sufficient representation at South Deep.
5. We are calling on South Deep management to unconditionally end its union bashing practices and allow NUMSA the space to service its members without prejudice as per the diktats imposed by section 23 of the Constitution which guarantees rights to fair labour practices.
The memorandum was received by Benford Mokoatle the Vice President and Head of operations at South Deep mines. We have given them 7 days to give us a written response.
Issued by Mncedisi Kwababa J.C. Bez Regional Secretary