Lafarge denies claims of ‘union bashing’
According to the Engineering News, Lafarge on Monday refuted claims by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) that the company was engaging in union bashing.Last week, Cosatu, together with the community and Tribal Authority of Bodibe, in the North West, marched to Lafarge’s offices to protest against the local human resources director, who it said “has failed to transform the company”.
The union further accused Lafarge of entering into an agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), but failing to implement it.“The company attempted to forcefully relocate the full time shop stewards from Lichtenburg to [the company’s] head office so that they can exploit members of the NUM,” Cosatu said in a statement. Lafarge responded, saying that these accusations were “unfortunate as they are contrary to our persistent and unrelenting attempts over the years, including recently, to engage NUM to reach agreements on issues raised by our employees. ”It added that it continued its talks with NUM.
“We want to resolve the outstanding issues related to wage gaps and the housing support programme as soon as possible. However, it is regrettable that there has been a delay in concluding these issues owing to the company having to handle the matter of some NUM-affiliated employees who participated in illegal work stoppages several times in the last few weeks.”
On Friday, Lafarge said it had dismissed 150 of its North West employees following illegal strike activity and ignoring two written ultimatums to return to work.