STATEMENT BY NIC-ICTU ON KILLINGS IN SOUTH AFRICA August 22, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left.
Tuesday 21 August 2012
We join here today to commemorate 34 workers killed last week at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa.
We are not here to judge who is more at fault for these deaths.
However, we have a duty to stand with the families and workmates and comrades of the striking miners and unite with them in this simple statement.
No worker should be intimidated, threatened or beaten at work.
All workers have the right to strike.
No worker should ever die defending the right to go on strike.
No worker should ever face death or injury during a strike.
That includes police officers, who should not face death while policing strikes.
Workers only ever advance when they go forward with a strong, single voice.
Only then, can they face down the intransigence of their employers.
The mine owners, Lonmin, were once called Lonrho –the London & Rhodesian Mining Company famously described by Tory Prime Minister Ted Heath as “the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism.”
Now, they threaten their mourning workers that they will be sacked if they do not return to work immediately.
This is what happens when workers are split. The most militant voices do not prevail. Instead the most reactionary win.
This is as true in Northern Ireland as it is in South Africa
The unacceptable face of capitalism becomes the undisputed champion when workers fight each other. That is the tragic lesson from Marikana.
All we can do now is extend our sorrow and solidarity to our comrades in the South African trade union movement.
We stood with them in the past and they have stood with us in return.
We have many friends and comrades there, and we think of them and their grief now, with this brief silence…