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04-08-2013, 04:33 PM
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe warns National Union of Mineworkers' leaders in Rustenburg, North West, to shape up or lose more members to rival Amcu
The ANC is under attack by emerging unions and socialist parties, its secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, has warned.
He rebuked North West leaders of the ANC-allied National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) yesterday, saying that instead of focusing on enriching themselves by adjudicating government tenders and promising jobs they should improve their service to their members.
If they did not, they risked losing more members to the rival Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.
Lecturing on the challenges facing the mining industry, Mantashe said Amcu's onslaught on the NUM was turning into a political plot aimed at overthrowing the ANC.
"They use a union to destroy a liberation movement. So this attack on [the NUM], we know that [once they are done with you], they will attack the ANC.
"That is why you hear there is a union called Amcu, and then you hear that there is the launch of a Democratic Socialist Movement.
"They want to steal our revolution," he said.
When workers at Impala Platinum mine, Rustenburg, struck illegally in February last year, Amcu reportedly tried to poach members from the NUM.
This developed into a bloody turf war between the two unions.
In August, a similar strike broke out at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine and clashes between NUM shop stewards and rock-drill operators reportedly resulted in 10 fatalities, including mineworkers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.
Police subsequently opened fire on the Marikana strikers, killing 34 of them.
President Jacob Zuma established a judicial commission of inquiry into the circumstances that led to the shootings.
The commission, which is sitting in Rustenburg, has revealed that, following the clashes between the two unions, Amcu members are now in the majority at both Impala and Lonmin.

After the Lonmin strike, wildcat strikes spread to other mines.

At Anglo Platinum, a workers' committee was formed that recently gave birth to the Socialist Democratic Party.
Yesterday, Mantashe said it was through this new party that Amcu was mobilising against the ANC.

He said NUM leaders and shop stewards must, despite what happened in Marikana, put their fears aside and approach mineworkers who had defected to Amcu and talk to them in small groups and learn how they could assist them.

"We are appealing to you - go back, get our people [to rejoin NUM] where you work . they must not be misled. This is their blood and sweat."
Mantashe said that, to attract and retain members, the NUM must change the way it treated them.

When some union leaders started earning big salaries and drove "flashy cars", they forgot about members' needs and struggles, he said.
"When you make gains in the industry, don't abuse them."

04-09-2013, 09:07 AM
Faith in trade unions falling - report

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By: Sapa
8 minutes ago

Johannesburg - South Africans are losing faith in trade unions, according to research quoted in a report on Tuesday.
Trust in trade unions among the public in general dropped from 43% in 2011 to 29% in 2012, reported Business Day newspaper, quoting a survey compiled by the Human Sciences Research Council.

Thirty-five percent of black South Africans said they distrusted trade unions in 2012, compared to 21% the previous year, while 53% of coloured South Africans said they distrusted unions in 2012, compared to 37% in 2011.
The poll was compiled in the wake of several wild-cat strikes last year.
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told Business Day: "Our own survey last year also revealed some very negative perceptions, for instance, about corruption in unions.

"This survey tells me one thing: improve."