The National Union of Mineworkers says it is now looking at the manufacturing sector to grow its membership. This amid the ongoing decline of its traditional base in the mining industry.
The union celebrated Youth Day on Wednesday by holding a rally with new recruits from the manufacturing sector in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg.
The National Union of Mineworkers was once the dominant force in the mining industry. However, the emergence of AMCU and its phenomenal growth in the last decade has seen NUM’s membership decline from a high of 300 000 members to around 170 000 members currently.
Now, having already expanded its scope to include the energy sector and the construction industry, the union now says it’s making inroads into the manufacturing sector.
NUM’s William Mabapa on the union’s plan:
Last year, the NUM merged with LIMUSA – a Numsa breakaway. It now claims to be attracting members away from Numsa.
The manufacturing sector currently employs an estimated two million workers. That’s far more than the mining industry, where employment levels have dropped to below 500 000 workers overall. It’s against that background that NUM sees manufacturing as its next frontier.
The NUM says it had planned to host hundreds of its new members from manufacturing at its Youth Day rally, but it was forced to reduce the numbers drastically because of the new COVID- 19 restrictions to combat the current third wave of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.