NUHACE threatens to protest at Bea Mountain
-Writes Labour Ministry
By Lewis S. Teh
The National Union of Hospitality Aviation Communication & Energy Workers (NUHACE) has frowned at the Ministry of Labour for not prevailing on Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC) in Grand Cape County to seek its members’ welfare or else, it would carry out industrial action against the company.
NUHACE has served the Ministry of Labour a formal notice about its plan to strike against the Management of Bea Mountain for the company’s reported failure to implement several recommendations seeking the welfare of workers.
In the letter addressed to the Ministry dated May 16, 2023, NUHACE recounted that since September 2020 to now, the workers of BMMC/Construction and Mining Contractors (CMC) through their workplace representatives and office have filed series of complaints against the management.
The letter added that those complaints detailed several violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding and the outcome of discussions held between the Ministry of Labour, the local union, mother union and the management of the company at several venues and different dates, including at the Ministry.
The Union noted that it categorized the workers’ concerns into short, medium and long terms for implementation based on advice from the office of the Minister of Labour, Cllr. Charles Gibson, but stressed that unfortunately, the management of BMMC/CMC has failed to implement all of the agreements reached through those social dialogue processes.
Providing reasons for their planned strike and lockouts, the Union explained that BMMC willfully violates and refuses to provide direct or indirect housing for 90% of its employees as per (MDA Section 11. b).
It said what is even more disturbing is the fact that the Ministry of Labour has been concerned with preventing workers from exercising their rights to strike and not prevailing on the BMMC/CMC management to do the right thing by implementing the various agreements.
NUHACE also stressed that the company has violated the Decent Work Act Chapter 14 Section 5 (e, j) subsection 6 among others, noting that the management of the entity willfully violates the rights of casual workers who have overstayed the statutory period (DMA Chapter 13.2) and providing professional jobs to them while classifying them as casual workers.
According to the group, BMMC grossly refused to change overstayed contractors’ status to permanent status and provide workers their target bonus as prescribed in the CBA, including failure to increase salary.
The National Union of Hospitality Aviation Communication & Energy Workers averred that the company further refuses to fully implement NASSCORP EIS scheme (employee injury scheme) thus leaving injured employees without benefit from NASSCORP, while the BMMC management fails to instruct NASSCORP to provide employees contribution statements.
Among other things, NUHACE stressed that the Bea Mountain Mining Company has failed to provide medical checks to all employees who are working in hazardous areas after every three months as prescribed by the CBA, and has refused to implement the Ministry of Labour’s ruling on salary increment for underground workers, as part of a social dialogue held in February 2022. Editing by Jonathan Browne