Report: Salaries of mining union leaders in South Africa paid by mining companies

Just one year after the "Marikana massacre," an investigative report in South Africa's Daily Maverick reveals "a furtive conflict of interest, with mining houses footing the bill for top National Union of Mineworkers office bearers’ salaries...unionists are being paid high salaries by the very people from whom they are supposed to protect their members. The 'arrangement' is just about to end, in spite of union leaders' unhappiness and an unpredictable labour and political backlash."


  1. I’m confused. How else are they supposed to get payed? I mean sure, they could get payed from their members union dues, but who pays the members? Sure there is a conflict of interest here, but I would like to know how other unions avoid this conflict.

    1. Where does the money that the company pays its workers with come from? Where does the money of the customers of mining company come from? Who are these union bosses really working for then? Your line of questioning quickly gets absurd.

      Since the wage the miners earn is basically theirs to do what they want with, like pay union dues, the union bosses are not answerable to the mining company, because the company has no say over who that union boss is, short of firing all the workers in an attempt to starve the union. By the workers themselves paying, and electing their union leaders, this eliminates the conflict of interest. This is basically how a proper trade unions operate.

    2. You know that, throughout most of history, soldiers were paid by what they could plunder? There’s a reason that most places have conflict of interest laws.

  2. The solution is that less staff get paid less inflated salaries using union dues. You know, like real trade unions do.

  3. The system of dues checkoff in the US isn’t much better.  Getting cut a check from the boss is never good for the loyalties of union leadership.

    Unions should be funded directly by members (via ACH or automatic credit card charges).

Comments are closed.