Lonmin and human rights

Our Human Rights Policy has been in place since 2009. It was drawn up in line with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Standards of the International Labour Organisation and the Principles of the International Council on Mining and Metals. The commitments contained in the policy have been incorporated into the Lonmin Sustainable Development Standards.

Lonmin remains committed to ensuring our working conditions are in line with our Human Rights Policy. We prohibit forced or child labour and we have received no reports of incidents at any of our operations in this regard, and as such we do not consider this to be a risk. Our employees voluntarily enter into their employment conditions and this is regulated by legislation. Overtime is restricted to national permitted levels by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997.

Our CEO is ultimately accountable for human rights matters across all of our operations and he is supported in this role by our Company Secretary.

One of the criteria of our membership of the United Nations Global Compact is regular stakeholder consultation on human rights and anti-corruption and we were pleased to be invited to attend the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights plenary session in 2013.

GRI
HR6
Operations and significant suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labour, and measures taken to contribute to the elimination effective abolition of child labour.
HR7
Operations and significant suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour, and measures to contribute to the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour.

The rights to collective bargaining and freedom of association

The rights to collective bargaining and freedom of association are entrenched in South African labour legislation and are upheld absolutely by management across all of our business disciplines. See Board Initiative 1: Employee relations for details on our recognition agreement and collective bargaining.

The majority union at our operations is the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) with a 66.1% majority representation of our employees. AMCU is involved in all decisions that affect employees through formalised tri-partite structures that include representatives from unions, management and government as well as additional meetings and engagement processes.

We have also established a Security Council that meets on a monthly basis to share information on ethics and human rights.

Communicating our Human Rights Policy

Our employee training and induction programmes are the main vehicles used to communicate to employees on our ethics and human rights policies and the corresponding standards of behaviour that are expected of them and that they are entitled to from their colleagues and management. This year 30,611 people (including contractors) attended our induction programme, with a total of 568,723 training hours spent on induction.

All employees and contractors are also required to attend annual refresher training programmes, in which our Human Rights Policy is covered. Information is also included on the mechanisms available to employees to report incidents or raise grievances, including a toll free hotline available to all employees.

This year we also piloted a training exercise within the Concentrators, where we trained employees on the implications of theft, corruption and bribery. The training was informed by our Code of Business Ethics as well as the Criminal Act in South Africa.

Eight cases have been reported that relate to intimidation; these are still in progress. One case that related to sexual harassment was reported. More information is provided in the section: Upholding ethical business practices.

Protecting human rights through our supply chain

All of our contracts with suppliers contain clauses pertaining to human rights requirements. We have screened all our suppliers and of these two vendor contracts were terminated because of unethical business practices.

We review all of our suppliers before they are formally registered as vendors against a range of environmental, safety and social responsibility criteria.

Human rights and security

Our security services comply with the South African Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority and we maintain our registration with this organisation, as required by law. All (100%) of our security personnel are trained in our security policies and the relevant aspects that pertain to human rights.

Within the codes of conduct for security personnel or contractors, we set out the standards and rules regarding the use of force with which they are required to comply, and these are consistent with the relevant legislation. These codes and supporting documents were subject to review during the year, and we aim to finalise these reviewed documents within the next calendar year.

GRI
HR1
Percentage and total number of significant investment agreements and contracts that include clauses incorporating human rights concerns, or that have undergone human rights screening.
HR2
Percentage of significant suppliers, and contractors, and other business partners that have undergone screening on human rights screening, and actions taken.
HR3
Total hours of employee training on policies and procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations, including the percentage of employees trained.
HR5
Operations and significant suppliers identified in which the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining may be violated or at significant risk, and actions taken to support these rights.
HR8
Percentage of security personnel trained in the organisationís policies or procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations.
HR6
Operations and significant suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labour, and measures taken to contribute to the elimination effective abolition of child labour.
HR7
Operations and significant suppliers identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour, and measures to contribute to the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour.
HR8
Percentage of security personnel trained in the organisation’s policies or procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations.
HR9
Total number of incidents of violations involving rights of indigenous people and actions taken.
HR11
Number of grievances related to human rights filed, addressed and resolved through formal grievance mechanisms.
SO3
Percentage of employees trained in organisation’s anti-corruption policies and procedures.

We welcome the implementation of the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and legal developments in the countries in which we operate in support of those Principles.

Avoiding infringing the human rights of others and addressing any adverse impacts in which we are involved are at the heart of how we do business. However, we currently lack a formalised response to the Principles and intend to make an appropriate policy commitment, undertake due diligence to assess actual and potential human rights impacts (whether direct or indirect) and act upon the findings of that review, track the effectiveness of our responses and communicate this in future years’ reporting.

Some of the building blocks necessary are already in place, such as participation and engagement, and transparent, equitable and predictable grievance mechanisms, but we understand that more could, and should, be done. Companies are required to address “adverse human rights issues with which they were involved” in their reporting.

The tragic events at Marikana took place in 2012, but we are clearly still deeply involved in the repercussions, predominantly in working to rebuild trust with employees and communities, and through our co-operation with the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

We joined with the nation in welcoming the announcement of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, under the chairmanship of Judge Ian Farlam, tasked with examining the conduct of Lonmin, the SAPS, the NUM, AMCU, their respective members and officials and the Department of Mineral Resources, among others, during the Marikana Tragedy.

The questions that pertain specifically to Lonmin that the Commission will be considering include:

  • Whether we exercised our best endeavours to resolve any disputes which may have arisen between our Company and our labour force on the one hand and generally among our labour force on the other.
  • Whether we responded appropriately to the threat and outbreak of violence which occurred at our premises.
  • Whether we, by act or omission, created an environment which was conducive to the creation of tension, labour unrest, disunity among our employees or other harmful conduct.
  • Whether we employed sufficient safeguards and measures to ensure the safety of our employees and property and the prevention of the outbreak of violence between any parties.

It will also examine our policies generally, including the procedure, practices and conduct relating to our employees and organised labour.

We have given our full support to the Farlam Commission and will continue to do so. As the Commission’s work is still ongoing, we are constrained in what we can say in this document about certain aspects of the events themselves.