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Amcu demands a R3 000 come-back bonus! (Plus other outrageous things you can expect from trade unions during wage negotiations)

by , 20 June 2014
The latest update from the five-month long platinum strike is that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has made new and 'unaffordable' demands beyond an 'in principle' deal it struck with producers last week.

According to Fin24, Impala Platinum says additional demands include a R3 000 'come-back bonus' and a moratorium on all restructuring and retrenchments.

Last week, platinum producers Impala Platinum, Anglo Platinum and Lonmin announced they'd reached a preliminary deal with the Amcu. With these new demands, it seems like South Africa's longest strike is far from over.

This strike has cast the spotlight on all aspects of strike action. This includes outrageous demands like a 'come-back bonus'. Take a look below at some of the other outrageous things you can expect from trade unions during wage negotiations...

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Think the Amcu's request for a 'come-back bonus' is absurd? Take a look at some of the other strange things unions demand

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says, you should expect almost anything from the union and your employees during wage negotiations. Depending on the circumstances you could receive:

1. Demands. For example, unions could ask you and your management team to sell your fancy cars and use the money for pay increases.

In this case, you can respond by asking the union if it'll bear the cost of replacing your cars.

2. Accusations of racism, sexism and exploitation. In this case, deny these allegations and reiterate your true motivations: You want to find a fair settlement for both parties.

3. Toyi-toying. As long as the toy-toying isn't during working hours and doesn't turn violent, tolerate it. Remember, South African labour laws allow employees to protest peacefully.

This one last thing has become synonymous with strikes in South Africa, so expect it.

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One last thing to expect from unions during wage negotiations

4. Blockades, harassment of staff and visitors and damage to property. If your employees commit any of these acts, treat it as misconduct. That means you need to hold disciplinary hearings as soon as the strike comes to an end and calm has been restored.

There you have it. Knowing what to expect from unions during wage negotiations will help you to find ways to better deal with these issues so they don't severely affect your business.

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