The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members at Phalaborwa Foskor Mine will be embarking on a march to deliver a memorandum of demands to express their dissatisfaction on various matters, which seek to undermine and make the conditions of employment at the workplace more unbearable. The march will happen at Phalaborwa Foskor Mine tomorrow (5 May 2023) starting at 9 am.

“Our members are trapped under a very bad situation wherein management of the company in particular the Human Resources Management department is all out to try to tarnish and undermine the collective agreements, policies and procedures that the company has entered into with the union. Foskor branch is one of the NUM branches that constitute majority members in the company and the management of Foskor more especially the HR department has embarked on a diabolic system to work closely with rival unions to see the demise of the NUM,” said Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary. 

“It should be noted that NUM has never been allergic to co-existing with other unions. The NUM is the first union to adopt the Freedom Charter in this country and we continued to advocate for many other progressive Legislative Framework such as Affirmative Action, the Skills Development Act & Employment Equity Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, MINE, HEALTH & SAFETY ACT and many other laws that govern the workplace and workers breathed with a sigh of relief upon such been enacted into law with huge expectations that the workplace would turn into a more conducive place as compared to during the previous regime,” Mankge added.

Below are the demands of the workers to be submitted;

• Management of Foskor is conniving with other unions to destroy the existence of the union.

•Human Resources Manager has been reported to be serving the interests of rival unions in that he is alleged to be luring and threatening NUM members to exit the union in favour of the rival unions.

•The employer is refusing to honour the terms of the Collective Agreement they signed between the employer and the union to capacitate shop stewards during their term of office.

•Workers demand the employer introduce a policy framework that will enable the company to gradually encourage youth employment at the workplace.

•National Union of Mineworkers is demanding to sit in procurement processes to ensure fairness and ensure that BBBEEE is regarded.

Transformation – workers demand a totalitarian agenda of transformation to take place and the acceleration of transformation should happen at a fast pace for the workplace to be transformed.

• Organisational Rights – The Company has violated the recognition agreement about organizational rights that should be conferred when a new union is applying for such, the company should first check whether such union qualifies for those rights before they could afford them with the rights. 

• Employment Equity and Skills Development –workers demand the company to re-establish this structure as per what has been prescribed by the law so that all the categories of employees inclusive of gender, women and people with disability should be fully represented. On the developmental part, workers demand that each worker should have a clear (Individual Development Plan) for the company to develop a clear career-training programme.

Community Unrest Days- workers demand that the company should craft and implement the proposals submitted to protect workers during community unrest, NUM is opposed to the issue of deduction of leave days during the unrest. 

Insourcing of Security– Workers demand the insourcing of security personnel to be permanently employed by the company.

Standardizations of qualifications on the advert – workers demand the company to develop a clear Recruitment policy in line with SDA and EEA to ensure that when the company send out an advert those adverts send one message across-unlike what is currently happening wherein the company will advertise a senior position with a Diploma as a requirement and the next day they advertise a junior position with a Degree as a requirement to block certain individuals within the company to apply.

The National Union of Mineworkers will continue to fight for their rights and if Foskor does not want to change their attitude towards the workers, Foskor will never be the same until we meet our demands.

For more detailed information, please contact:

Rangers Molapo, NUM North East Regional Chairperson, 083 282 1674

Phillip Mankge, NUM North East Regional Secretary, 076 053 3401