The department of labour says it took everything into account when it decided to deregister Amcu, adding that it is not a genuine trade union as envisaged in the Act.
On Thursday morning, 25 April 2019, the Labour Department said it had taken everything into account when it made its decision to deregister one of the country’s biggest mining unions – the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
The Labour Registrar issued a notice of intent to cancel the union’s registration on Wednesday, 24 April 2019, citing that Amcu no longer functioned in terms of its own constitution and “is not a genuine trade union as envisaged in the Act.”
Speaking on Radio 702 on Thursday morning, labour registrar Lehlohonolo Molefe said Amcu’s last national congress was in 2013, therefore the union was failing to operate in terms of the constitution.
“There is supposed to be a national congress every five years. They should have had a congress in 2018.
“They refused to provide us with the information so that we could determine that they are able to hold a congress. We take everything into account when we take our decisions,” said Molefe.
Molefe said the union had made a commitment to hold congress in May 2019, but the registrar had received a letter from the union stating that it was unable to hold congress due to the Sibanye-Stillwater gold division strike.
The five-month strike by 14 000 Amcu members at Sibanye rendered itself fruitless, as the union ended up signing a R4 000 ex-gratia deal for its members, the same deal that was accepted by three other unions in November 2018.
In terms of the constitution, Molefe noted that Amcu was supposed to have a regional congress six months prior the national congress.
“When we followed up to ask on the progress of the congress, the registrar was told to back off.
“They said we are giving them unusual attention, it has never been seen that a registrar has given this much attention to a union,” said Molefe.
Molefe said that Amcu was not an isolated case and that they had given other unions notices and deregistered them in the past.
Amcu could not be reached for comment.