NUM to embark on a protest march at Glencore offices in Witbank tomorrow

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members in the Highveld Region will tomorrow (1st November 2019) embark on a peaceful march against Glencore  at Arthur Taylor H Block offices in Witbank. The march will start at 8 am. At the centre of these sour industrial relations between NUM and Glencore is the Group Industrial Relations Manager who drives a wedge between unions and its members. 

“If nothing positives come out of this peaceful march tomorrow the NUM will mobilize its members in the whole province of Mpumalanga to embark on a full-blown strike. The union is perturbed by how Glencore treats NUM members and workers in general,” said Tshilidzi Mathavha, NUM Highveld Regional Secretary.

“The Regional committee meeting took place on the 22nd of October and resolved to embark on mass action where members of the union will demonstrate their anger and frustration to this bully and arrogant employer on the 1st November 2019,” Mathavha added.

The Regional committee meeting deliberated on the conduct of Glencore which is unbecoming as they employ divide and rule strategy where issues under discussion are communicated to employees and implemented without any form of agreement. The NUM wants to send a clear message that this kind of conduct will not be tolerated. The NUM is a trade union movement that advocates for better working conditions of its members and workers at large, so it is the NUM that decides what is in the interest of its members.  

The strategy of divide a rule is also used by Glencore to divide organized labour. In most instances, their agenda is advanced with the assistance of the unions who are minority thereby propelling rivalry between unions. The NUM refuse to enter that space because we are clear as the organization, as to who is our class enemy. We are guided by what Karl Marx said, “workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains”. 

It is an open secret that Glencore is the most brutal employer in the whole province of Mpumalanga. Records show that this company dismisses employees every month. It is of grave concern since it appears that Glencore is using dismissal as the easiest way to retrench employees. Workers are terminated on incapacity without given an alternate position like other companies do in such situations. This is a clear indication that Glencore in restructuring which amounts to bogus section 189 of LRA.

“Glencore failed to implement agreement entered into between parties as far back to 2013. One of the major issues is the housing policy as dictated by the Mining Charter. Good housing and living conditions for mine employees are inherently linked to their human dignity and privacy. Mining rights holders have been required through the current and previous charters to drive improvements in the housing standards and living conditions of mineworkers. Failure by Glencore to honour this agreement thus far indicates that Glencore doesn’t care about the dignity of our members but all they care for is to maximize profit at the expense of these poor workers,” Mathavha concluded.

For more information, please contact:

Tshilidzi Mathavha, NUM Highveld Regional Secretary, 066 305 7424


7 Rissik Street.

Cnr Frederick,

Johannesburg 2001

Tel: 011 377 2111