Platinum producer Lonmin has advised that developments in the ongoing negotiations of a new union recognition agreement with stakeholders has not yet been finalised.The company’s union membership profile has changed significantly over the last 12 months with the Association of Mining and Construction Union (AMCU), now the largest union, representing 70% of Lonmin category 4 to 9 employees. Lonmin says the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), formerly the majority union, now represents approximately 20% of the category 4 to 9 employees, the change resulting in the need to negotiate a new recognition agreement with workers’ representatives. The company pointed out that it currently has a limited organisational rights agreement with AMCU, which is valid until a new recognition agreement is finalised. Negotiations on the recognition agreement commenced in January, focusing on finding a way to work with stakeholders towards a new recognition agreement which is inclusive and fair.
Lonmin said that it proposed a democratic, multi-union framework that is responsive to the needs of all workers and their representatives, and admits that it has found progressing towards this objective difficult.Following a meeting earlier this week with AMCU, where no progress was made towards reaching an agreement, Lonmin says it was notified that AMCU have referred the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). “Lonmin welcomes this development. A process facilitated by the CCMA presents an opportunity to reach agreement. We will fully participate in this process,” the company said in a statement. Lonmin added that it remains committed to seeking a negotiated outcome, and that it provide updates on the CCMA process in due course.