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Amcu membership audit good news for NUM - BDlive

Thursday, 9 July 2015

THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) could hardly contain its glee on Wednesday, after an independent audit commissioned by the Chamber of Mines on membership applications submitted by its rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), showed that more than 6,000 of 6,510 applications were invalid.

Although the NUM represents the majority of workers at the current round of gold sector wage talks, all unions in the sector are participating.

The core value of increased membership numbers would be revenue for the union, while majority representation counts at an operational level.

The NUM said it was "shocked but not surprised" at the outcome of the audit.

"Some of the members went back to the NUM and others were people who were unemployed," the NUM said.

"The other stop orders were duplicates and the NUM views that as fraudulent activities. That is unacceptable."

The audit also raised questions about Amcu’s representation in the platinum belt, the NUM said, and it called for an audit of those membership figures as well.

Amcu made huge gains in platinum membership a few years ago that enabled it to lead a crippling five-month strike last year to demand large wage increases.

Amcu treasurer Jimmy Gama said the union had concerns and would raise these with producers next week. "We will invite the Chamber of Mines to come clean because they will see really that what we have been arguing about Amcu being the majority in these mines, is actually true," he said.

In the gold wage talks, which began two weeks ago, one of Amcu’s first moves was to challenge its recorded membership numbers. It claimed it represented more than 40,000 of the 94,433 unionised gold mine workers.

But after the audit, the chamber said the correct figures were: 49,125 members or 52% NUM, 28,256 or 30% Amcu, and the remaining 18% were either United Association of SA or Solidarity members, or had no union.

These figures are for AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Gold, Village Main Reef and Evander, but exclude Gold Fields’ South Deep mine.

The closest call was at Sibanye Gold, where the NUM and Amcu were at 44% and 38% respectively. There, 4,618 stop order applications out of 5,011 were found to be invalid, mostly because those people had left the company or submissions were duplicated.


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