Joseph Mathunjwa, the life president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Amcu, must stop abusing poor mineworkers in order to sustain his lavish lifestyle.
Mathunjwa is always taking the desperation of workers for a ride. He took workers at Sibanye-Stillwater into a five-month-long unpaid and unproductive strike just because he wanted to solidify his relevancy in the face of poor workers.
The five-month strike by Amcu did not achieve anything, but it was characterised by intimidation, violence, and the killings of innocent mineworkers. It brought suffering and misery to the workers. Instead of viewing that as a total failure, Mathunjwa shamelessly went on to claim a victory.
He then went on to insult the workers by accepting essentially the same wage agreement signed in November 2018 by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Uasa, and Solidarity.
Now that the strike has been called off, the workers will be paid what is called a “hardship payment” of R4,000 and they will be forced into a cash loan of about R5,000 to be repaid over 12 months.
It goes without saying that in the process, poor workers lost in a big way. They were made to participate in the strike without getting their basic monthly salaries. The strike wasted workers’ time and brought poverty into workers’ immediate families. A single mineworker supports up to 10 family members.
The agreement signed by NUM, Uasa, and Solidarity in November 2018 covered wages and conditions of service from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021. The agreement allowed for increases of R700 per month in the first and second year, and R825 per month in the third year for Category Four to Eight surface and underground employees. Miners, artisans, and officials will receive increases of 5.5% in the first year and 5.5%, or CPI – whichever is greater – in years two and three.
The living-out allowance was increased by R50 to a maximum of R2,150 per month from 1 September 2018 and will reach R2,225 in 2019 and R2,325 in 2020. The guaranteed minimum severance payment was increased to R50,000 over the three-year period.
As a lifetime self-made president of Amcu, it is important for Mathunjwa to sometimes familiarise himself with some basic wage negotiation skills.
Compromise is a basic wage negotiation process in which both parties give up something that they want in order to get something else they want more.
Compromises usually occur in win-lose situations — when there is a fixed pie to be divided up, and whatever one side gets, the other side loses. In compromise situations, neither side gets all of what they really want, but they each make concessions in order to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both.
There are two principal ways to negotiate a compromise. The first is for the parties to go back and forth with offers and concessions until they meet somewhere in the middle.
Now that the strike is over, the NUM is on record demanding the immediate arrest of perpetrators of violence at all Sibanye-Stillwater operations. It can’t be business as usual.
Ever since the strike started in November 2018, NUM members who were not on strike became targets on the basis that the NUM signed a wage agreement after marathon negotiations.
NUM members working for Sibanye-Stillwater in various operations are continuing to count the losses. Up to today, more than 60 houses and 13 vehicles have been burnt out. Nine workers were brutally killed. Other workers have since sustained serious injuries.
This is the extent of the damage so far caused by the violent Amcu strike. DM
Luphert Chilwane is a Media Officer at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
Britain's Scotland Yard is built atop the site of an unsolved crime scene.