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Smaller trade union’s fight for recognition at the core of Lonmin tragedy

Statement by André Venter, spokesperson of UASA:

The tragedy of the deaths of 10 people at Lonmin could well indicate the beginning of the end for Cosatus’ slogan One industry one union.


It is UASA’s contention that when employees belong to such large organisations, they start feeling lost in the system and indeed disempowered. Rebellion often follows to restore a belief that something can be done to one’s destiny and to regain the ability to influence the process.

Ignoring pluralism as a basic ingredient for participation by our diverse interest groups in society,  the Labour Relations Act  promotes the concept of workers control through the “one industry, one union” concept, thereby militating against a basic right of each and every worker, namely the freedom of association.

The brutal fight that we currently observe at Lonmin is the fight for recognition by minority groups, which will probably not come to an end until interventions are made to accommodate smaller trade unions in the workplace again.

For more information, or to arrange a personal interview, please contact Franz Stehring of UASA at 082 806 5164.