18 July 2014

South Africa: Cosatu NW Condemns and Impala Mine Union-Bashing

press release

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the NW declares war on Impala management for their continued union-bashing against the NUM.

They are undermining the laws of this county, their own policies and the code of conduct which is only applicable to the NUM and those who are seen as NUM friends.

We have been holding meetings with junior managers who are also involved in bashing the NUM and not caring about the safety of workers, in particular those from NUM.

The management led by Zach Maphoso has been telling us verbally that our members are safe to go back to work. But a 2012 security assessment plan that said that more than 20 NUM shop stewards were not safe and were put on special leave by Impala management. They must be able to tell us in writing that our leaders that they agreed were not safe in 2012 are now safe to go back to work.

The management refused to give us confirmation in writing, which must include a security plan covering when they are at work and after hours.

Zach and his team continue to say those worker leaders must come back to work, but when they go they are attacked in front of the management, right in the workplace, but there is no action against the perpetrators. What management is doing is to protect those criminals.

We want to repeat our call that our members will not go back to work until we are given a security plan in writing from Impala management and that there will be no victimization of those workers by stopping their salaries, as they want to go back to work but their safety is not guaranteed.

We want to request the CEO of the mine to take the safety of our members seriously and to act before the alliance mass action against Impala on 6th August 2014.

We also call on Impala management not to undermine the federation anymore by sending somebody who has the capacity to undermine COSATU and the NUM and not respect our members' lives.

We will not sit with Zach in our meetings. We need someone who respects the union leadership and the poor mine workers who lost their lives due to poor planning by Impala management.

COSATU wants to congratulate NUM for returning its status at SAMANCO, where the majority of workers are back in the NUM and they will now start enjoying coming back home to the federation.

We are still calling on those who are still misled to come without any bad blood. They must be allowed to come home peacefully.

Let us all respect the rights of others and respect the democracy that was led by Madiba as we celebrate both his birthday and his historic life.

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