South African union heats up rivalry via Twitter

As commemorations took place for the 34 people killed last year at the Lonmin (LON:LMI) mine in Marikana, a major labour union took to Twitter to release a stream of grievances and semi-hostile remarks at a rival and its supporters.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has been venting on the social media site after announcing that it will not participate in today's ceremonies – an event organized by NUM's main competitor, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

Hosting the event is a group calling itself the Marikana Support Group – a group which NUM considers "illegitimate." The ceremonies, according to NUM, have been "hijacked."

The union had so much to say about today's event that it split its Tweets into several sections, releasing a flurry of angry remarks.





The ex-majority union did emphasize however that it "has no gripe about AMCU ‘s recognition as a majority union." Rather, it takes issue with the fact that Lonmin has set a threshold of 30% membership for the company to recognize a trade organization – NUM represents 20% of the Lonmin workforce.

The turf-war between the groups has been violent – most recently on Sunday when a NUM member was gunned down in Marikana. The perpetrators are yet unknown but many have taken it as an indication that the feud is "far from over."

Image from YouTube, Mining Weekly