22 January 2014

South Africa: Chamber of Mines Takes Amcu to Court

Photo: Anglogold Ashanti/MediaClub SA
Drilling underground in a South African gold mine (file photo).

Johannesburg — The Chamber of Mines seeks damages in the Johannesburg Labour Court against the union Amcu over its intention to strike in the gold sector.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) issued strike notices to employers in the platinum and gold sectors on Monday.

It is demanding an entry-level monthly salary of R12,500.

Chamber spokeswoman Charmane Russell said it believed the strike was illegal, and that it would seek damages because a "peace clause" in an agreement signed last year prevented Amcu from striking.

"The issue of conditions of employment has been settled for the duration of the agreement, and no demands may be made during the course of the agreement," she said in a statement on Monday.

The two-tier wage agreement was concluded with the National Union of Mineworkers, Uasa and Solidarity, which represent 72 percent of workers in the gold sector. Amcu, which did not accept the agreement, represented 17 percent of workers at the time of the negotiations. It was the dominant union in the platinum sector.

"The September 2013 agreement was made applicable to all employees who form part of the bargaining unit, irrespective of trade union affiliation," Russell said.

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