The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members at Northam Platinum ended a six days strike today (20 January 2015) after they accepted a draft memorandum of understanding developed by the NUM and Northam Platinum management.
Following the work stoppage by workers at Northam Platinum on the night of the 13th and the day shift on the 14 January 2015, endless efforts were made by the NUM to engage the company to resolve the work stoppage. What contributed to this strike was the flouting of policies by the company management. Management wanted to unilaterally change sick note and recruitment policies. They attempted to discipline workers who had valid sick notes and force them to work while they are injured or sick.
It was this reason that workers realized that with Paul Dunne at the helm things are going wrong. They sprang to action to force the company not to alter policies that they fought hard for. NUM members fought gallantly to force management to engage as they resorted to unconventional methods to engage the union to find a solution. This struggle paid off as management finally came to the negotiating table. The last meeting that we had with Northam Platinum management lasted until midnight on the 19th of January 2015.
We are reporting that a draft memorandum of understanding was developed and presented to workers this morning. Workers accepted this memorandum with the following points:
To this end the parties have agreed on the following:
. To jointly design a process with no conditions or pre conditions which will focus on issues raised prior to and during the strike.
. That Peace and Stability Framework will be adhered to.
. Not to dwell on the past but commit to a multi-stakeholder healing process aimed at resetting the relationship.
. Both parties must appeal for peace and industrial relations stability
. That the above agreement will be effected on the proviso that all striking employees must return to work on Wednesday 21 January 2015 starting on the night shift of 20 January 2015.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions