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UASA: BECSA and NUM might be inviting a second Marikana

UASA accuses BECSA of reckless and irresponsible behaviour and that it invited labour unrest and strikes.

BECSA and NUM previously concluded a Section 18 LRA agreement setting the threshold for organisational rights at 15%.

On 1 February 2013 BECSA informed UASA and AMCU that a “new” Section 18 agreement had been concluded, setting the threshold at 30%.

This was done unilaterally and without any consultation with us, says Leon Grobler, COO of UASA.

We have steadily increased our membership figures, which stood at 18% in January 2013. There is no obvious reason for shifting the goalpost now, and the only logic explanation is that NUM is terrified of losing its members as it did in the Platinum sector, where NUM fell from being the majority union to a 10% union.


The actions of NUM make it clear that they are unable to retain their members and that they have to resort to devious means and connive with the employer to keep other unions out.

But the actions of BECSA are even more devious and reckless.  It is as if they are saying: “We did not have labour unrest, nor did we lose production, so we now also desperately need some labour unrest and even a few people killed.  We also want our share price to go down!”

UASA is in the process of writing an open letter to the CEO of BECSA and its shareholders requesting them to reconsider their irresponsible action for the benefit of South Africa.

We will also urge them to rescind their decision because South Africa cannot afford another Marikana.

UASA will resort to legal action if BECSA fails to respond positively to our demand to suspend the new unilateral threshold agreement.

We have requested FEDUSA to involve the Minister of Labour, Ms. Mildred Oliphant, to call BECSA to order and involve herself in this grossly unfair action of BECSA an NUM.

We pray that sanity will prevail for the sake of labour peace and stability, especially in the mining sector, says Grobler.