Around three-quarters of the workers at a South African platinum mine where 44 people were killed by police last week have refused to return to work despite an ultimatum by the mine’s owners to dismiss them. “People have died already so we have nothing more to lose … we are going to continue fighting for what we believe is a legitimate fight for living wages. We would rather die like our comrades than back down.” London-based Lonmin’s deadline was also condemned by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu). “It is too harsh of management to talk in this way. Shares in Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, fell a further 5% on Monday.

Striking South African miners defy Lonmin ultimatum

Three-quarters of striking workers refuse to return to platinum mine where 44 people killed by police last week

Mine workers outside Lonmin mine, South Africa

Mine workers outside the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg, South Africa: about 3,000 strikers were told to turn up to work or face the sack. Photograph: Themba Hadebe/AP

Around three-quarters of the workers at a South African platinum mine where 44 people were killed by police last week have refused to return to work despite an ultimatum by the mine’s owners.

About 3,000 striking rock-drillers were told by Lonmin, owner of the platinum mine in Marikana in North West province, to show up or potentially be sacked.

A Lonmin spokesperson told Reuters: “Attendance has started slowly but is now up to 27%. But it is unclear if the striking workers are returning.”

South African media reports suggested that many would continue to stay away. Miner Kaizer Madiba told the Times newspaper: “People have died already so we have nothing more to lose … we are going to continue fighting for what we believe is a legitimate fight for living wages. We would rather die like our comrades than back down.”

A rock-driller told the Mail & Guardian’s website: “It’s better to die than to work for that shit  … I am not going to stop striking. We are going to protest until we get what we want. They have said nothing to us. Police can try and kill us but we won’t move.”

London-based Lonmin’s deadline was also condemned by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu). “It is too harsh of management to talk in this way,” said its treasurer, Jimmy Gama, describing the ultimatum as “very unfair”.

Thirty-four striking miners were gunned down at the mine on Thursday when they stormed a police line. Ten other people, included two police officers, died in violence earlier last week. The incident has stunned South Africans and provoked comparisons with the brutality of apartheid-era security crackdowns.

President Jacob Zuma has announced a week of mourning after the tragedy, with flags flying at half mast all over South Africa, and set up a ministerial task team and judicial commission of inquiry.

Two hundred and fifty-nine strikers arrested in connection with the protests will appear in the Rustenburg magistrates court on Monday facing charges including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, public violence and malicious damage to property.

Shares in Lonmin, the world’s third biggest platinum producer, fell a further 5% on Monday.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/20/striking-south-african-miners-lonmin

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About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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