NUM threatens strike action over 'matter motivated by racism'

Kea' Modimoeng

Kea' Modimoeng

The National Union of Mineworkers is at loggerheads with Two Rivers Mine management over which employees it can represent and has begun preparations for possible strike action.

The NUM demands that it be recognised to bargain for C-band employees - who include chief supervisors, engineering foremen and artisans - as it has now satisfied the legal requirement of more than 50percent membership.

Mike Schmidt, executive for platinum operations at Two Rivers, said: "There is no bargaining dispute. The only dispute we had with workers was over wages. That was settled about two weeks ago."

NUM branch secretary at Two Rivers, Doctor Matheso, sang a different tune: "We deserve to represent these employees. We took the matter to the CCMA and hope it will be resolved, otherwise we have no option but to strike.

"Two Rivers Mine management must exercise common sense and abide by agreements or face strike action."

Lesiba Seshoka, NUM national spokesman, said: "We are very upset that this company is 55percent owned by a black man [Patrice Motsepe] but its stance on this matter seems to be motivated by racism."