The National Union of Mine-workers (NUM) says it intends to pursue strike action from all its coal workers as well as lodge a complaint against the Chamber of Mines for “negotiating in bad faith”.
This threat comes after the Chamber decided to withdraw its decision to walk away from the centralised bargaining forum for coal workers as it would rather prefer to in future negotiate on a decentralized basis with representative unions.
According to NUM spokesperson, Livhuwani Mammburu, the Chamber allegedly met unions on 20 January 2017 and confirmed that they were prepared to remain a member of the centralised bargaining forum.
Mammburu says the Chamber is now going back on that agreement and is furthermore contractually bound to being a member of the centralised bargaining forum until June 2017.
Another trade union, Solidarity, has also called on the Chamber and coal mining companies to reconsider their decision, especially when they had previously committed themselves to more central bargaining procedures.
Chamber of Mines spokesperson, Motsamai Mohlamme, says that the Chamber will honour the current agreement until June 2017, however, thereafter, for efficiency purposes, coal companies would like to interact with unions on a company-to-company basis.