TO: The Chief Executive Officer: Xstrata
CC: Merafe Resources,
Kagiso Trust Investments,
Bakwena Ba Mogopa Community
15 November 2011,
1. We, members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) at Xstrata Alloys have been on strike not because of our own fault, but because of the fault of the company and its strategies to deepen the exploitation of our labour.
2. The Xstrata Alloys boasts of being “the world’s largest producer of ferrochrome and a leading producer of primary vanadium”, owning “carbon and anthracite operations which supply key raw materials to its ferrochrome smelters and an interest in a joint venture platinum group metals mine and concentrator”.
3. All of this accumulated capital and the riches out of it that Xstrata Alloys alone enjoys have been acquired, in the final analysis, through workers’ unpaid labour that the company appropriates.
4. In the midst of high levels of income inequality in South Africa, Xstrata Alloys is worsening the situation by maintaining the apartheid wage gap if not widening it further.
The company maintains unfair wage differentials among workers between production facilities. We are determined to eliminate this unfair treatment and rotten divide and rule exploitation tactic.
5. Since we submitted our bargaining demands in the second quarter 2011 to better and harmonize employment conditions between production facilities and following a series of negotiation rounds Xstrata Alloys’ management has proven to be intransigent to the extreme.
6. Xstrata Alloys has angered workers and instead of focusing on negotiations to settle what is an obvious and easy demand that of harmonizing benefits of workers between their companies called Lion and the rest of other companies.
They have decided to apply cheap apartheid era tactics of bashing members particularly in Rusternburg, using the organs of class rule, the police to muzzle or liquidate workers rights to assembly and strike peacefully.
Our strike action for genuine demands has been met with very hostile conservative attitude from the side of Xstrata management in our quest for to settle the dispute.
7. Numsa is very angry that workers who went into a legal and protected strike have been treated like common criminals and when the court demanded that the company must prove the reasons for persecution of workers, such was met with dismal failure.
8. We call on all progressive senior management of Xstrata to appreciate that it is time to break with the past, that ordinary workers who generate profits for the shareholders of this very important company can't continue to be survive worse forms of apartheid racist South Africa in a complete new dispensation workers at Xstrata South Africa do deserve a transformed, democratic workplace with absolutely no prejudiced and to construct their future in line with our democratic constitution.
9. This is the reason why Numsa demand that the company:
9.1. Must implement harmonization of employment conditions, benefits and pay with Lion smelters used as benchmark.
9.2. Stop using repression instead of collective bargaining and withdraw all the cases and charged pressed against workers.
9.3. We expect nothing else but a positive response with 48 hours of the receipt of this memorandum.
Presented on behalf of NUMSA by
Received on behalf of Xstrata Alloys by
In Johannesburg, on the 15th Day of November 2011
Numsa Press Release