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Follow this protocol when workers return to work after a strike

by , 25 June 2014
We're certain you've heard the good news!

The five-month long Amcu led strike over wages has come to an end. Trade union Amcu and platinum producers Lonmin, Implats and Amplats have reached an agreement.

The wage agreement means workers will start working again and one thing is certain: It can't be business as usual.

Platinum producers (employers) have to follow the following procedure when their employers return to work. Make sure you do the same in your business when your employees return to work after a strike.

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Here are some of the details regarding the wage deal between Amcu and platinum producers

Before we get to what you need to do when your workers return to work after a strike, let's take a look at some of the details of the wage deal.

You'll recall that on the 23rd of January, around 70 000 Amcu members at Lonmin, Implats and Amplats went on strike demanding an entry-level salary of R12 500 a month.

  • According to the Business Report, the deal between platinum producers and Amcu includes annual increases of R1 000 a month for the lowest-paid underground workers for the first two years of the agreement and R950 in the third year.

  • The companies will implement the wage gains over three years.

  • Accommodation allowances will increase to R2 000 a month and stay there for the duration of the agreement, from R1 950 now at Lonmin and R1 850 at Impala. At Amplats, it'll rise 6% annually.

  • Lonmin will reinstate 236 workers who lost their jobs during the strike.

Platinum producers say the stoppage cost the companies R23.9 billion in revenue and workers R10.6 billion in wages since January 23.

Going forward everybody involved has to hit the ground running to repair the damage caused by the strike.

For platinum producers, the first step is to do the following when workers come to work.

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When your employees come back to work after a strike, do the following to ensure the 'return to work process' runs smoothly

You have to make sure the 'return to work process' is as smooth and harmonious as possible.

The Burke Group, a company that specialises in labour relations and management, says the end of a strike provides an opportunity to begin changing the culture of an organisation.

It recommends you have a management audit to clearly identify the underlying issues that caused the work stoppage.

It's also a good idea to have a plan that'll help you communicate with all the stakeholders in your company. A strike damages a company's reputation so it's a good idea to reassure every one of your values and your plan going forward.

Platinum producers, for example, will have to reassure investors that South Africa is still a safe place to invest in.

Experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service also stress the importance of an induction programme. This applies when your employees return from a strike. You must have an employee reorientation process to remind them of all the procedures. You should also remind them of their health and safety obligations.

There you have it. Following this procedure when your workers return to work after a strike will help ensure everything runs smoothly going forward.

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