In 2013, the South African Chamber of Mines conducted negotiations on salaries and terms of service on behalf of its members in the gold mining sector. The mining companies represented by the Chamber of Mines were Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti and Sibanye Gold. The Chamber of Mines entered into these negotiations with the National Union of MetalWorkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (UASA), which represented the majority of workers in this sector. The applicant, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), was also invited to those negotiations, since it represented a minority of workers throughout the sector, but was predominantly represented in certain individual mines. These negotiations culminated in a collective agreement accepted and approved by all parties except the AMCU. This agreement covered wages and other conditions of employment. In addition, the agreement expressly established that it was an agreement concluded in Section 23(1)(d). Among other things, it found that no party bound by the agreement could request a strike or lockout on the issues addressed in the agreement as long as it existed. Although the collective agreement explicitly concerned about all employees of the mining companies represented, AMCU argued that its members were not bound by the agreement, as it was not a party. It is perhaps fair to say that the issues raised by the AMCU were legitimate and coincided with the dignity and livelihoods of minors. The union demanded a base salary of R12,500 for its members (Mapenzauswa and Shabalala “AMCU accepts a new wage offer from Sibanye Gold”10. April 2016 Moneyweb accessing www.moneyweb.co.za/news/companies-and-deals/amcu-accepts-sibanye-gold-new-wage-offer/ (retrieved 2018-06-08)).
The countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (the OECD is composed of the following member countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) have two legal mechanisms in which they apply collective agreements for non-parties (Traxler “Collective bargaining: levels and coverage” in EmplDoyment Outlook (1994) 178-179). The first is to renew a collective agreement in order to bind it generally within a given sector or region (ibid.). This extension is usually approved by the country`s Ministry of Labour, provided certain conditions are met. For example, in Germany, the social partners who conclude the contract must represent at least 50% of the employees in this sector (ibid.). The second mechanism is commonly referred to as enlargement. This type of extension binds employers and employees in a sector or geographical area outside the collective agreement if they are similar to those covered by the collective agreement (ibid.). Member States such as Austria, Belgium, France and Portugal have a considerable number of collective agreements which are regularly renewed (ibid.). .Leave a reply