The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) finds it unfortunate that the Democratic Alliance (DA) would draw us to support the Labour Relations Amendment Bill 2014 that seeks to curtail violence strikes.
The NUM has never been a violent union. We are a peaceful union and we do not encourage our members to embark on violence when they are on strike. It has always been our position. We are a victim of violence strikes and non-strikes since 2012. Where was the DA when the NUM was calling for peace and the industrial relations stability in 2012 until today?
“The NUM members experienced violence, assaults, intimidation and killings during the apartheid era and the DA and its forebears never came out in our defence. It is, therefore, opportunistic of them to make a public call that we must support their bill. The NUM remains committed in terms of Framework agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry entered into by Organised Labour, Organised Business and Government in which the parties agreed to act decisively to enforce the rule of law, maintain peace during strikes and other protests relating to labour disputes, ensure protection of life, property and the aancement of the rights of all citizens, including crime prevention measures,” said NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni.
The DA should be calling for other stakeholders who had not signed the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable mining industry to sign it. It is, therefore, opportunistic of them to only call the NUM to support the Labour Relations Amendment Bill 2014. The NUM is not the only union in the mining industry in South Africa.
We must remind the DA that the NUM embarked on an 11-week strike in 2013-2014 season at Northam Platinum in Limpopo, not even a single fly was hurt. This demonstrates that the NUM is not a violent union. We are a peaceful union and it is not an empty rhetoric.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions