The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has threatened to down tools at platinum miner Lonmin next week if it is not recognised as the majority union, a senior official has said.
“At a mass meeting yesterday, our members opted to embark on a protected industrial action, but we will first seek a meeting with Lonmin management to see if we can’t come into an agreement,” AMCU treasurer Jimmy Gama told Reuters.
On Tuesday, eight National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop stewards were suspended for alleged union membership fraud.
The shop stewards allegedly falsified stop orders to make it seem members of Amcu had left their union and joined the NUM.
The company said it had been established that about 200 stop orders were falsified in this way and submitted to Lonmin’s human resources department.
The effect of the fraud would have been to relay membership fees owing to Amcu to the NUM, while also helping the NUM regain its representation.
The NUM has until July 16 to retain its status as a majority union, or vacate union offices at shaft level.
The offices were provided by the company to the dominant union, while other unions were provided with only one central office to service their members.
Amcu ousted the NUM as the majority union after a wildcat strike in Marikana, North West, last year, commanding 70% of unskilled workers and machine operators as members.
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