COSATU in Gauteng has noted with disgust the undermining of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Labour Relations Act by Blyvoor Mine Management in Carletonville. Mineworkers at Blyvoor Mine were forced to join a union supported by Blyvoor Mine Management called Blyvoor Workers Union. On realizing that the union was pro-management, mineworkers decided to exercise their constitutional right and join the National Union of Mineworkers.
Blyvoor Mine Management decided to dismiss almost 300 mineworkers for joining the union of their choice. When dealing with this disgusting action, the leadership of NUM in the mine was harassed and some were even arrested. Whilst we appreciate that NUM has followed the Labour Relations processes by engaging the CCMA and now at the Labour Court, 300 families have been without income and food since March 2021.
What is more worrying to COSATU is that these workers made it possible for mine owners to get a license to mine, but the very same mineworkers who were matching to Merafong Local Municipality are now laid off for exercising their rights to belong to the union of their choice. The living condition in Blyvoor Mine residence is appalling with continuous electricity cuts, damaged road infrastructure, and to a larger extent shortage of water.
With all being said, we are calling Blyvoor Mine Management to save workers the Labour Court long route and reinstate all dismissed NUM members within seven days. COSATU working with NUM and alliance partners in West Rand will be engaging in a rolling mass action starting with the march to Blyvoor Mine offices. We will further engage with the office of the MEC of Social Development in Gauteng to roll out a social relief program at Blyvoor.
COSATU will also engage the Department of Employment and Labour to secure UIF payments to these workers as well as engage the Department of Minerals to look at the commitment to workers when a license was issued.
Provincial Chairperson: Amos Monyela – 0794935002
Provincial Secretary: Louisa Modikwe – 0661822402