Death Of Strikers At South Africa's Lonmin Mine Condemned

The Maritime Union of Australia is deeply alarmed and concerned with reports that 35 workers have died in clashes between South African police and striking workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.

The Maritime Union of Australia is deeply alarmed and concerned with reports that 35 workers have died in clashes between South African police and striking workers at Lomin’s Marikana mine.

National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, Paddy Crumlin, said the thoughts of all MUA members are with the victims and their families at this terrible time.

“These deaths are extremely upsetting and we back calls for Lonmin to take responsibility to ensure that the violence ends and order is restored,” Mr Crumlin said.

“We support the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa and the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ call for a thorough investigation into these tragic events and for those responsible for these reprehensible killings to be brought to justice.

“Workers are entitled to raise their concerns with management, including when they are facing appalling living conditions and poor pay.”

It is understood the site descended into violence following allegations of collusion between management and a rival union of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).  Ten people have been reported to have been previously killed in the past week as the conflict between management and strikers escalated.

Mr Crumlin, who is also President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, said that it is critical that the union movement in South Africa remains united.

“Unity is absolutely key here and we understand the unions will help to bring about peace and an agreement with management,” Mr Crumlin said.

“At the same time as that, the employer must immediately stop its inflammatory tactics that have so far led to tragedy.”