Ayanda Mdluli
1 minute read
11 Apr 2014
6:00 am

‘Amcu’s days are numbered’

Ayanda Mdluli

Reports that strikers desperate to earn money in the platinum belt are leaving the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) for other labour movements is an indication the union is just a "flash in the pan union".

FILE PICTURE: Members of AMCU march to Implats head office in Illovo, 27 March 2014 to deliver their demands which include an salary increase to R12 500. The five month long strike has since ended. Picture: Neil McCartney

Michael Bagraim, a labour expert and analyst, believes Amcu is in way over its head and the cracks are starting to show. He yesterday dismissed Amcu’s recent marches as the last kicks of a dying horse.

“These are desperate measures and they will not make a difference. It is a waste of time given that the other planned marches are not even legal yet,” he says.

Several unions, including Numsa and the Association Union, have claimed in recent days they are recruiting “thousands” of Amcu deserters.

Bagraim believes one of Amcu’s main failures was it had provided limited feedback to its members who wanted them to engage with management on the negotiation table. “Amcu grew too big too quickly and they have been unable to service workers grievances effectively and they are losing members fast.” He claimed Amcu wouldn’t last another six months.

He warned of further violence before Amcu collapsed. “Amcu did not realise that they cannot change the system over night and they must learn that they need to crawl first. This is a very important lesson for them and the minister of labour needs to step in.”

When pressed for comment, Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa said: “We are on strike so we do not know how many members are leaving.”