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COSATU Today  |  Memorandum

Memorandum to Impala and the Departments of Mineral Resources and Labour

Memorandum to Impala and the Departments of Mineral Resources and Labour

23 March 2013

Today the 23rd March 2013 the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliates, together with the community are gathered here as progressive structures representing the interest of the poor working people (employed and unemployed) who are exploited every minute of their life.

We are presenting this memorandum to Impala, the Department of Mineral Resources and Department of Labour not because we want to be here but because we are forced to be here by the conduct of the management of Impala which continues to violate our rights as workers and job seekers.

This activity take place in the month on the human rights and the bill of rights in the constitution of South Africa which is the supreme law of this country and which states in that:

Labour relations

(l) Everyone has the right to fair labour practices.
(2) Every worker has the right to:
(a) form and join a trade union;
(b) participate in the activities and programmes of a trade union; and
(c) strike.

All these rights above are the rights we are protecting as COSATU and the workers of this country.

We are here to display our anger and dissatisfaction at the manner in which the rights of the workers have been undermined by Impala under the watchful eyes of both the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and the Department of Labour (DoL), the two of which are clearly on the sides of employers. These two departments have behaved as if what is taking place in this mine is correct and lawful including the police who are also taking side to defend the capitalists.

As COSATU we have observed with disappointment the current trend by the employers particularly Impala to undermine the constitution; the labour laws and the collective agreements to which the government has done nothing to stop.

The constitution of this country states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of association”. And this right has been clearly explained in the Labour Relations Act which states that: Employees` right to freedom of association

(1) Every employee has the right to-
(a) participate in forming a trade union or federation of trade unions; and
(b) join a trade union, subject to its constitution.

(2) Every member of a trade union has the right, subject to the constitution of that trade union-
(a) to participate in its lawful activities;
(b) to participate in the election of any of its office-bearers, officials or trade union representatives; ¸ to stand for election and be eligible for appointment as an office bearer or official and, if elected or appointed, to hold office; and
(d) to stand for election and be eligible for appointment as a trade union representative and, if elected or appointed, to carry out the functions of a trade union representative in terms of this Act or any collective agreement.

(3) Every member of a trade union that is a member of a federation of trade unions has the right, subject to the constitution of that federation to-
(a) participate in its lawful activities;
(b) participate in the election of any of its office-bearers or officials; and stand for election and be eligible for appointment as an office-bearer or official and, if elected or appointed, to hold office.

The workers at Impala continue to be employed by labour brokers which is a form of modern slavery and its sole purpose is to deteriorate the working conditions of workers including the reduction of benefits as part of the salary which is taken by the labour broker.

Impala continues to dismiss workers based on their association and not on the merit of the case and the nature of misconduct and this was done working together with the CCMA where they confirmed a dismissal of one worker on an assault case while the other who committed the same misconduct remains in the employ Impala.

The DoL officials as the custodian of laws that are meant for employee relations and labour peace has folded their arms whilst Impala continue to contravene almost every section of our labour relations Act.

The living and the working conditions of the workers at Impala are horrendous and workers are forced to erect informal settlements illegally on the land of the Bafokeng tribe due to the fact that Impala has failed to provide them with decent accommodation including improved road infrastructure within local communities.

Impala continues to work with some corrupt elements in the Bafokeng magistrate court and Phokeng police station to perpetuate the acts of crime and criminality in the area.

We have noted the response Impala has provided to us on the memorandum we submitted on the on the 9th February 2013 which they deny some of the facts contained in the memorandum.

We want to put it again on record today that there is union bashing at Impala as the company unilaterally derecognised NUM without following proper procedure, recognised a union that has fewer members than NUM and which has constantly refused to participate in a verification process conducted by an independent entity.

It is our strongest believe that should workers be allowed to express their independent minds on which union they support following an independent verification process, the union which is recognised by Impala would fail to factually demonstrate the threshold which both the union and the company claims this new union has.

The Impala management continue to assist the other union to organise in the company and this for us it is union bashing.

Though Impala alleges that they have employed some of the 2500 workers who were dismissed we want details of who was dismissed and who was and who was reinstated, and demand that all those who were dismissed must be reinstated.

Impala continues to promote lawlessness and fails to protect the workers who have joined or associated to the National Union of Mineworkers. Having given the background above we want to put the following demands; some of which are being repeated as they were put forward on the 9th February 2013.

We demand the following:

The end of union bashing at impala and the immediate reopening of the NUM offices.

The appointment of a jointly agreed independent body to conduct membership verification exercise for all the unions at Impala and that all the subscription owed to NUM be paid and a full investigation be done on the alleged payment of four million in the other union account whiles there is a dispute and engagements on the verification process.

Impala reinstate the remaining of the 2500 dismissed workers in 2012.
Fair labour practice.
End of lawlessness at Impala.
DoL and DMR to investigate Implats with a view of reviewing the license.

DMR to investigate the status of the implementation of the MPRDA in Impala and if it is found that they have defaulted the mining license must be taken away from them.

The review of the mining license of Impala by the DMR

The investigation of the conduct of the management of Impala and their relationship between the officials and prosecutors at the Bafokeng magistrate court and Phokeng and Tlhabane police stations.

The protection and the end of intimidation of all the workers.

Equal treatment of workers and cases to be adjudicated on merits and not by association and the reinstatement of all workers who have been dismissed due to their affiliation to NUM

The investigation of the killing of all the workers in the mining industry and the prosecution of all those who are implicated.

Labour broker must be banned and all the employers must employ all the employees under the labour brokers in their staff complement.

A living wage which will assist to take workers out of poverty.
i. Impala must build proper houses for all their mine workers employed by them
ii. Impala must take responsibility of all the cost of rebuild the schools, shops, cars and the rest of the properties that were damaged.

That Impala must take responsibility of rights of children,
i. women and the rest of the human beings who were undermined
ii. by Impala during the illegal strike led by some of the management to destroy NUM.

We demand a full detailed response within seven days, failing which we are calling a boycott against Impala both inside SA and outside.






For DOL                                                                For DMR.



For Impala                                                  




Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za