Our South African alloys operations encompass 16 sites, with seven different unions. These unions are one of the operation’s biggest stakeholders; most of the sites are unionised, with many sites having one union with a majority status (where half or more of the workers belong to that union). In South Africa, this status grants such a union certain specific organisational rights as well as bargaining rights, covering conditions of employment, skills development, health and safety and labour relations.

On some sites a union may only have organisational rights. Most sites have more than one union present, representing different employee categories. On sites where no union represents the majority of workers, management will engage with workers’ forums, made up of representatives from the smaller unions.

We meet and engage with union committees on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The meetings are structured with agendas, attendance registers and minutes.

We give the unions opportunities to hold mass meetings with their members on a regular basis to give feedback, obtain input and mandates on important topics. The subjects we discuss include:

  • Health and safety
  • Production
  • State of the business
  • Grievances
  • Disputes
  • Housing

We work in partnership when attending inspections by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR); making presentations to the DMR as a result of specific orders; during Department of Labour inspections and when attending tripartite (management/unions/DMR) meetings.