Tension Continues as South African Miners’ Strike Ends
On 13th September striking workers demanding higher wages from the Anglo American Platinum Ltd gathered in a local stadium. Their action comes hard on the heels of a 6 week strike at Lonmin which has now been resolved after a wage increase was agreed. The increase was double what the trade unions typically secure and the miners celebrated by dancing in the streets after the bloody strike that cost 45 lives (on 16th August police shot and killed 34 mine protesters at a demonstration and other died including two police men in related violence). The agreement marks the end of one of the most violent episodes in South Africa since the end of apartheid. However, the underlying problems still exist with poverty and militancy still prevalent.
There are indications that other workers in neighbouring mines are preparing fight for a similar or even higher pay rises. For example, the miners striking at Anglo American Platinum Ltd where strikers were dispersed by police using rubber bullets and tear gas. So the illegal strike that began at Lonmin has quickly spread to South Africa’s second-largest gold producer Gold Fields Ltd and then onto neighbouring Anglo American Platinum.
The AMCU (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) President has denied that his union is at the root of the illegal strikes explaining that workers have organised themselves. His is concerned that these allegations are designed to damage the reputation of the union and marginalize the struggle to achieve higher wages for union members.
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Link to this article: : http://www.goldmadesimplenews.com/mining/tension-continues-as-south-african-miners-strike-ends-8124/