The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members at Glencore Koornfontein Mine in Mpumalanga are still embarking on peaceful strike against a multinational company which refuses to pay a decent retrenchment package.
On the 25 July 2014, Glencore served the NUM with the notice of retrenchment and retrenchment payment as per the Basic Condition of Employment Act (BCEA).
During the consultation process Glencore, it offered the following retrenchment package
. 1-year payment of 3 weeks
. 2-6 years payment of 2 weeks
. 7 years and above payment of 1 week
. Notice payment in lieu 1 month
The NUM submitted the following proposal as per the request from the company. The NUM has used the 2003 retrenchment agreement as the guideline to determine the proposed retrenchment payment because it was the only agreement we had after the last retrenchment
.1-5 years payment of 5 weeks
.6-10 years payment of 4 weeks
.11 years and above 3 weeks
.Notice payment of 3 months
.Medical Aid subsidy of 1417 X 36 months
The NUM further argued with the Glencore as to why are they discriminating about the process? In other departments such as Procurement and Payroll the company has open Voluntary Separation Package (VSP) and other operations under Glencore. The payment are as follows
. 1-year payment of 4 weeks
. 2-6 years payment of 3 weeks
. 7 years and above 2 weeks
. Notice payment of 3 months
. Additional Ex-gratia bonus of 2 months salary payment
The above payment is from our 2003 Retrenchment Agreement which the company refused to use for the current retrenchment at Koornfontein
NUM General Secretary says Glencore refuses to pay a decent retrenchment package.
“Today marks the 49th day of a peaceful strike fighting a multinational company which refuses to pay a decent retrenchment package to 24 workers only claiming that it does not want to set a precedent. They want to pay one week for each completed year of service contrary to the practice in the industry of two weeks for each completed year of service. We are mobilising our International unions affiliated to industriALL to join us in attacking this unacceptable conduct,” Baleni said
These retrenched workers have a zero chance of employment post retrenchment. This is an essence a death sentence,” he added.
The NUM has involved the CCMA to mediate with the intention to end the strike, and we had sessions, but the company failed to meet the union’s revised proposals that were put forward to the Commissioner.
The NUM recently met the company at the CCMA on the 24th of November 2014 and the company made a movement on the first year from 3 weeks to 4 weeks severance payment, 2 to 6 years of service it is still 2 weeks, 7 years and above is still 1 week and the two months payment notice.
As the NUM, we suggested that if they can add a week on 2 to 6 years on their offer that can help us to end the strike. The commissioner edged all parties to reconsider.
The NUM will fight tooth and nail to make sure that its members get what they are demanding. We remain fearless, committed, dedicated and unshaken in fighting for our members at Glencore Koornfontein mine in Mpumalanga.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions