September 13, 2012 - No. 113
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
Stand With Auto Workers in Defence of
• Stand With Auto Workers in Defence of Their
Alma Rio Tinto Workers
Return to Work
• Workers Defend their Dignity Against Rio
Tinto's Revanchism and Anti-Labour Restructuring - Interview,
Marc Maltais, President, Syndicat des
travailleurs de l'aluminium d'Alma
Anti-Social Changes to
• Opposition Increases in Quebec
Massacre of Striking
Platinum Miners in South Africa
• Justice for South African Miners!
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
Stand With Auto Workers in Defence of Their Rights!
Thousands of auto workers organized across Ontario
Canadian Auto Workers Union are standing firm in defence of their
rights. Their collective agreements with GM, Ford and Chrysler expire
September 17 at 11:59 pm. Workers from all sectors and regions stand
shoulder to shoulder with the auto
workers. Canadian workers constitute one class in defence of their
rights as the
producers of all value and provider of all services and in defence of
the rights of all.
Local CAW unions, on the
front line of defending their dignity and
livelihoods in the face of concessionary demands of the three auto
monopolies, are forming strike committees and preparing for strike
actions. We wish them and their national leadership every success in
their attempt to defeat the arrogance and
greed of the owners of auto monopoly capital and their executive
Workers are sick and tired of the extortion practiced by
monopolies. Those executives who daily menace the Canadian economy with
threats to move auto and other production to the U.S., Mexico or
elsewhere should be charged with criminal extortion and endangerment of
the people's security and
In this regard, the concessions demanded by owners of
their executive managers are a neo-liberal plot by the global auto
monopolies so that the rich can get richer. Their aim is to weaken the
working class in its struggle
in defence of its rights and for a bright future for all Canadians and
internationally. These demands for concessions are not solutions
to the problems within the auto sector or economy because concessions
on wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions make the situation
worse for the working class, the Canadian economy and general interests
Autoworkers have to make this very clear to themselves,
their communities and owners
of auto monopoly capital. Whatever terms they agree to accept must
resolve the crisis in a manner which favours their interests. There is
no such thing as a trade-off when what are called negotiations are
reduced to threatening the workers in any number of ways. Demands for
concessions under the threat of disinvestment
take Canada backwards instead
of forward to an alternative that opens the door for general prosperity
and livelihoods for all. Demands for concessions which declare it is
either this or you will lose everything are a straightforward lie to
prohibit the consideration of alternatives.
Canadians must remind the global auto monopolies that
Canada to be a sovereign nation with its own history, economy, living
conditions and way of life. This is the case despite the
nation-wrecking course set by the Harper government and others of its
ilk at the provincial level to integrate Canada into
the U.S. war machine. Auto executives must be reminded they are
bargaining with Canadian workers not some other imaginary workers who
are supposedly in competition with Canadians.
The wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions of
Mexican workers are theirs to bargain and determine according to their
needs and conditions. Canadian workers wish them well in their
struggle, as we are certain that they wish us well in determining our
wages, benefits and pensions according
to our needs and conditions.
Auto workers have a right to
a Canadian standard claim on the value
they produce. Workers must denounce with contempt the dictate of owners
of capital and their executive managers and political representatives
who want to drag the entire world down into recession, recurrent
crises, war and poverty.
Canadian auto workers are right to demand that all
and old should receive similar wages, benefits and pensions according
to their qualifications. To attack the youth with a demand for lower
wages, benefits and pensions is discriminatory and destructive.
Attacking new hires with lower wages, benefits
and pensions is to suggest their needs are less, which is not the case.
Most importantly, it is an attack on the unity and determination of the
working class to defend itself as one class united within a union that
recognizes the rights of all its members young and old, male and female.
Profit-sharing, instead of a direct and objective
on what auto workers produce, is likewise not helpful to resolve the
crisis in a manner that favours the working class. Price inflation is
compounded and must be met with wages that respond in kind and in
addition meet the growing needs and
expectations of workers and the expanding requirements of the economy.
Profit-sharing undermines the struggle to keep up with inflation let
alone improve workers' standard of living. Profit-sharing violates the
right of workers to determine through active participation in their
union and collective bargaining their
claim on what they produce, which results in agreed upon verifiable and
objective wages, benefits and pensions. They must not permit
profit-sharing schemes to be used as a step to destroy their union and
collective bargaining. Profit-sharing under the
control of owners of capital and their executive managers is a step
towards destroying the union and collective bargaining.
Workers' claims are in
exchange for their capacity to work. Workers
provide a life-time of their capacity to work in exchange for a
lump-sum of value from what they produce that secures them until
passing away according to a Canadian standard. Profit-sharing
arbitrarily changes this claim according to the dictate
of owners of capital and their executive managers. Uncertain
profit-sharing under the control of executive managers replaces the
objective exchange of capacity to work for wages, benefits and pensions
decided through collective bargaining and enshrined in collective
Workers have no control or say over the capitalist
economy. They are
not responsible for its crises and should not be made to pay for the
failures of a system not under their control. They want the exchange of
their capacity to work for an objective claim on what they produce
within an equilibrium based on
recognition of their rights. Under no conditions can workers agree to
the destruction of workers' unionized input and say on their claim.
That is out of the
No to extortion and theft of what belongs to workers by
attack on auto workers is an attack on all workers and their economy.
Stand as one with auto workers in defence of their rights and the
rights of all!
Alma Rio Tinto Workers Return to Work
Workers Defend their Dignity against Rio Tinto's
Revanchism and Anti-Labour Restructuring
The Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA)
workers of Alma in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean,
Quebec signed their new labour contract at the beginning of July. This
put an end to a six-month lockout. They are now gradually returning to
work. According to the back-to-work protocol negotiated
by the union, all workers
are to be back to work within three months from the day the first
potline restarted August 10. Workers are reporting several problems due
to RTA seeking revenge against them and the restructuring done by RTA
during the lockout. This is making their jobs very unsafe, the workers
workers face a difficult
situation in which they must defend themselves against the company's
on their working conditions, prepare
to defend their pension plan which is up for renegotiation
at the end of 2014 and push forward their fight against the secret
deals between the Quebec government,
Hydro-Quebec and RTA which, among other things, allowed RTA to finance
its lockout with the $90 million it made from the sale of its unused
hydro to Hydro-Quebec.
calls on all workers in Quebec and across Canada to keep informed about
the fight of the Alma workers and to firmly
stand with them as their fight is a fight for the rights of all. TML interviewed Marc Maltais, the
President of the Syndicat des travailleurs de
l'aluminium d'Alma, about the situation they are dealing with at this
TML: Can you explain what is going on at
this time as the workers are getting back to work?
Marc Maltais: There is no doubt we are
Tinto's revenge on our struggle and the gains we made. Rio Tinto
management tells the community that it is happy with the contract we
signed but life inside shows they are not happy at all.
The company has done some
things that could be
industrial infantilism. They have taken away things like furniture from
the plant. These things seem of little importance but have a real
impact on the work atmosphere. Many workers are quite upset about them.
These are things you would
not think to negotiate. You
just assume that when you get back to work, there will still be doors
in the door frames, you will still be able to take your breaks in the
cafeterias and the chairs will be in the break rooms. Well, all this
has changed. The company went out of its way to make changes
on issues that were not negotiated. This
proves once again what we've always said, that unless it is written in
black and white in the contract, these things get taken away from you
and even if it is written, still you have to put up a fight to make
sure that what's in the contract gets implemented.
But that's not all. The most militant of our workers are
being spied on and targeted by the company.
As far as the back-to-work protocol is concerned, it is
difficult to get the company to abide by seniority when it calls
workers back to work. Besides everything else, it took a whole month
after the contract was signed to get the first potline ready to be
fired up again and that work was not done by our members
but by managers and subcontractors. Only once this was done did the
company consider it Day One. It was only
then that the clock started ticking to bring our people back to work in
There are areas in the plant where there has never been
subcontracting, but instead of bringing our members back to work the
company called in subcontractors while our workers were sitting at home
ready to return. For example, in our negotiations, we were able to keep
our janitors in the bargaining unit.
People said we were going to lose them to subcontracting, they are paid
too much. We kept them but instead of calling them back to
work right away Rio Tinto brought in subcontractors. According to the
company, this move was necessary because there was job restructuring
being done in the janitorial
work and this restructuring had to be finalized before our members got
their jobs back. That does not make any sense. The company always had
the right to restructure work in the plant and it never sent the
workers home to be called back only after the restructuring was done.
Our workers were being brought back to work
very slowly in the beginning, but after we argued with the company that
this made no sense then things started to speed up and at the moment we
are ahead of schedule.
TML: What kind of restructuring has been
done with the jobs.
MM: Here is an example. Before, in the
department, one worker siphoned the potlines, changed the anodes and
did the whole operation himself. These are three different tasks but
all performed by the same worker. Now, this job has been split into
two. One worker spends the
whole day doing the actual electrolysis, that's all he does, while
another worker does the siphoning of the tanks and changes the anodes.
It is an organizational change but it is also a change in the
philosophy of the place. Before, the idea was to give different tasks
to the worker, to make him more autonomous, to
build the expertise of the worker, so that he considers the whole
process not just one task. I think this change will negatively impact
the productivity and the quality of the work. The previous way was also
less debilitating, workers did not do the same thing all day long. But
the company says that when it was operating
with the managers during the lockout it found that there is a lot of
unnecessary downtime in the work day and now it wants to eliminate it.
This is causing very serious problems in terms of the
safety of the workers. As we returned to work, we realized that during
the lockout many shortcuts were taken that are totally unsafe. The
company claims that all of the safety procedures were followed during
the lockout but we have serious doubts
about that. When our workers returned they saw that crazy things were
done, for example, violating safety procedures such as padlocking.
Those are things we would never have agreed to do. But the procedures
were modified and they even wrote new safety rules and procedures and
now the company is asking that
we use these new rules and abide by the new procedures. We have three
workers in the plant who are safety reps and they are overloaded with
work making sure that workers do not get hurt or die at work.
These norms, these procedures we had, have been written
blood. These rules and procedures were established because we had
accidents. Nobody can just come and say that they are not useful and
not needed anymore. Also, these norms and procedures were established
on a joint basis, by employers and
workers. Now we are going to have to review completely what was done
during the lockout. It is going to take a few years just to return to
normal in terms of health and safety. I just referred to the changes in
the electrolysis department. We are going to have to reassess all the
patterns. For example, the rotation of
tasks needs to be considered very carefully -- how long you can be
exposed to beryllium, to the heat, etc. With the restructuring of jobs,
we have to redo the calculations to determine if it is acceptable in
terms of health and safety. According to RTA's policy, before
implementing a change, there has to be a study
that proves you are not overexposed to toxic materials, to
the heat, to musculo-skeletal fatigue, etc. This is not what happened.
We came back to work and the jobs were already restructured. We have to
jump on board a train that is already running, we are doing the studies
after the new work has already
started. The criteria being used to assess if the restructuring is
working are the limbs and bones of the workers. If the worker falls,
then we can say the restructuring is no good. This is not health and
safety. We have never agreed that this is how you work and we are not
going to let it pass.
TML: We heard that 67 positions are now
being considered redundant with the restructuring. Is this true?
MM: They are part of the so-called gains
efficiency that RTA allegedly found during the lockout. They have
declared the elimination of
the so-called down time in the electrolysis for example. I want to make
sure that people understand that these 67 positions that will disappear
if the restructuring is implemented
will not result in any layoffs. If the workers are declared to be
surplus in the particular jobs they are presently doing, they are going
to be assigned somewhere else. There are not
going to be any layoffs. In March, the company came to us to talk about
layoffs it wanted to make. We said no way, we are not talking layoffs,
you want to negotiate, no layoffs. There
were 778 of us when we were locked out and the 778 workers are going
back to work.
TML: Recently the local newspaper Le
posted the results of a poll that was conducted by Segma Recherche
which claims that the majority of the people in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean
that Rio Tinto won in the labour dispute and that you lost. What are
MM: Do you know that this question about
totally out of context? The
poll was actually on the vote intentions of
the people in the September 4 election!!! You can imagine the question?
"Oh, by the way, who do you think won, the company or the workers?" It
merely shows Rio Tinto's
media tentacles at play so that it does not have to admit that we won.
The company wants to give the impression that giants like Rio
Tinto are just so big, there is no way you can stand up to them,
resistance is futile. In fact, during the lockout we won the battle for
and we did it because we explained the issues
to the people.
In this poll, the pollsters didn't question people
informed about the conflict but people at large. It took seven hours
for the union to present the collective agreement to the membership. It
took us five hours to present it to the union leaders in other plants
and these are people who are
very familiar with these issues. I can understand that people answered
way they did. Maybe they said to themselves that RTA made $90 million
in energy sales during the lockout, not to mention the money they
made by operating one-third of the potlines while the workers lost
between $40,000 to $50,000 in wages
so it looks like the workers lost. The complexity of the contract, of
all its provisions, the gains regarding subcontracting, the gains we
made for the upcoming generations which are a first for any Rio Tinto
facility in Quebec, the rest of Canada and anywhere in the world, were
into consideration or even presented to the
people. This shows that those kinds of polls are not scientific at all.
are you now in the campaign on the issue of the sale of hydro?
MM: We are exactly where we want to be.
election, the candidates and the leaders of the main parties had no
choice but to take a stand on the issue. This is important because if
things remain as they are, Rio Tinto could lock us all out in
Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean as all the collective
agreements of the unionized RTA facilities in the region expire at the
same time at the end of 2015.
Our first demand is to know the exact content of the
energy deals between Hydro-Quebec and RTA. Thanks to the newspaper Le
we were able to stick our noses in the secret deals but exactly how
much per kilowatt hour Hydro-Quebec pays for RTA's unused hydro is
still top secret. It is
secret, but not knowing this did not prevent us from getting embroiled
in these energy deals. We know that for RTA, a lockout is a business
opportunity, but not the sale price of its hydro.
We do not know the exact price per kilowatt hour of the
hydroelectricity Hydro-Quebec buys from RTA. It looks like we are not
allowed to know because that would hurt the competitiveness of the
businesses involved, even though we have been involved and we had no
say in it. We learned that RTA was selling
its unused hydro to Hydro-Quebec after we were locked out and were
already out there in the snow picketing. And besides that, two
Ministers of the Charest government took a public stand against our
demands even though negotiations are supposed to be something private
between the company and the workers.
We know very little, but
from what we know there are
solutions that come to mind. What if the sale price of RTA's hydro was
roughly the same as the price of production? We are not asking that RTA
stop producing hydro during a conflict, but we are saying that it not
get an advantage from it over
us. We want to negotiate on an equal footing. The position of strength
we were able to build is precisely the public debate we were able to
create on the huge hydro advantages that were granted to Rio Tinto. It
is the fear of hydro nationalism that pushed Rio Tinto to return to its
senses and negotiate with us.
TML: Your pension plan is up for
the end of 2014.You said that you expect a major battle on the issue.
Can you elaborate?
MM: Our pension plan has a high solvency
not unlike the plans at Resolute Forest Products. The solvency
of the RTA pension plan, which covers 4,300 workers across Quebec, is
now at over $1 billion. When I took part in the Rio Tinto shareholders
meeting in April in London,
Jan Duplessis, the chairman of the Board of Directors did not allow me
to ask my question even though I had my hand raised the whole time.
Meanwhile Rio Tinto's CEO Tom Albanese looked at me with a smile. And
then suddenly you have this shareholder get up and ask the question the
people at the front were
waiting for (and probably wrote for him). He said that the shareholders
feel insecure with the defined benefits pension plans that are still
around at Rio Tinto. Guy Elliott who is on the Board of Directors was
only too happy to answer that it is only in North America that defined
benefits pension plans still exist at
Rio Tinto and the company is going to deal with that.
Our pension plan is up for renegotiation on December 30,
has already put its new managers on a defined contributions pension
plan. We think that Rio Tinto is going to try to do the same thing to
our new hires, imposing a two-tier pension plan and we have fought all
the away against two-tier conditions
being introduced in the plant. You can guess the amount of
pressure the company is going to put on the people of the region. It
may very well say that they won't invest in the Alma Phase 2 and in the
Arvida Phases 3 and 4 if we don't agree with this major concession.
TML: What do you want to say in
MM: All this work we have done in
from different unions, we have to build on that: CAW, Steelworkers,
CSN, all together. It would be a serious mistake to underestimate the
ability of Rio Tinto and other global monopolies to fight us. I do not
think that Rio Tinto is
weak. When I met the Tasmanian
workers, I could see that in some places there are only a few unionized
workers left. We can't take Rio Tinto non-seriously. I have enough
for the ability of RTA to fight to recognize that they are organized
and that we have to be very focused on what unites us. We are from
different unions but our aim is the
same. We want the same thing but our way to get there differs. There is
nothing wrong in having our different flags and feeling close to the
philosophy of the union and union central we are in but in essence our
aim is the same. It is very positive that many unions in the region are
working together on this energy
issue and this has to carry on.
Anti-Social Changes to Employment
Opposition Increases in Quebec
Trade unions and community
organizations in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean
region of Quebec are stepping up the resistance to changes to the Employment
Act announced in late May by the Harper government in
the context of Bill C-38, the omnibus budget bill. These changes give
the Minister of Human Resources, Diane Finley, the discretion to pass
any regulations she wants to modify the eligibility and retention of
employment insurance benefits without any Parliamentary oversight or
limitations imposed by Parliament.
The omnibus bill was passed based on the Harper government's
self-serving use of its majority in the Parliament. On this basis,
Minister Finley announced on May 24 she will adopt regulations that
force employment insurance recipients to accept jobs with drastic wage
decreases or be cut off.
In early September, representatives of the group Actions
Services Working in Unity with the Unemployed (ASTUSE) and the
Unemployment Action Movement (MAC) joined the representatives of five
Quebec unions to denounce the anti-social reform.
"[The changes broaden] the concept of suitable
requires employment insurance recipients to accept jobs faster than
before, regardless of their experience or qualifications," said the
regional coordinator of the Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (CSD).
The organizations also criticized the dismantling of
appeal mechanisms. These changes include reducing the number of people
responsible for case reviews from 900 to 37 across Canada. "The reform
is based on old prejudices conveyed since the '90s that the unemployed
are abusing the system," said
the spokesman of the Unemployment Action Movement.
The Central Council of the Confederation of National
Unions (CSN) in
the Saguenay and the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) have
criticized various aspects of the reform and have pledged to mobilize
their members for future actions demanding that the anti-social reform
be repealed. The CSQ representative
gave an example of how its members who are teachers will be affected.
These teachers, who work in adult general education and vocational
training centres may lose their standing on replacement lists. They are
even at risk of being forced to accept jobs in other sectors and
leave their present jobs. "There is already
a 25 per cent dropout rate among young teachers in the first five
years," added the CSD spokesperson.
The Regional Chairman of the Syndicat de la fonction
representing government employees, said the same is true for its
members, especially those who work on a seasonal basis in Quebec's
parks and in the Department of Transportation.
In order to document the effects of the changes, ASTUSE
MAC-Lac-Saint-Jean began a series of seven community meetings in
Dolbeau-Mistassini on September 12. During these meetings, citizens and
employers can present their situations and the problems they
anticipate. All these testimonies will be compiled
into a summary document.
The President of the Central Council of the CSN said
that a major
demonstration is being prepared for October 27 in Thetford-Mines,
located in the Mégantic-L'Érable riding represented by
Paradis, Stephen Harper's lieutenant in Quebec.
Massacre of Striking Platinum Miners in
Justice for South African Miners!
Striking platinum miners,
Marikana, South Africa.
CPC(M-L) vigorously condemns the August 16 massacre of
34 miners and
wounding of 78 others by South African police forces. The police were
acting as strike-breakers for the London-based platinum mining monopoly
Lonmin at the Marikana townsite. Adding insult to injury was the fact
that despite video
showing that it was police who fired on the strikers, authorities
charged and detained more than 150 miners for murdering their fellow
miners under an obscure apartheid-era legal doctrine known as "common
purpose," a form of collective punishment. There have yet to be any
charges laid against the police involved
in the massacre.
The strike by thousands of miners in Marikana has been
since August 10. On September 5, news agencies report that more than
3,000 striking miners marched through streets near the mine, 100 km
northwest of Johannesburg, in the largest protest since the August 16
massacre. It was announced on
September 6 that a "peace deal" had been signed between Lonmin and some
of the unions. However, this deal did not include the strikers
themselves and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)
which represents about 23 per cent of workers
at the mine. A representative of the workers pointed out that the peace
accord did not address their demands,
so nothing was signed.
Lonmin is a notorious British imperialist firm founded
in May 1909
as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Limited, which
evolved into a multi-branched corporation, Lonrho, denounced as "the
unacceptable face of capitalism" in the 1980s. Today, renamed Lonmin,
it focuses on the production
of platinum and is the world's third largest producer.
Platinum, the precious metal used mainly in catalytic
the auto industry as well as in electronics and jewellery, is in
relative over-supply world-wide due to the economic crisis. Lonmin, in
an attempt to maximize its own rate of profit despite declining
platinum group metal prices, has been imposing
the lowest wages on mine workers, most of whom live in wretched
Lomin pays mine workers approximately 4,000 Rand ($475
month. The strike of several thousands of the mine workers has the aim
of raising their wages to a livable sum
of 12,000 Rand ($1,400) a month. (By comparison South African police
salaries range around
15,000-20,000 Rand monthly.)
The strikes were originally organized by the National
Mineworkers, the largest union in South Africa. However, ACMU,
media as a "rival union," has been in the forefront of the workers'
resistance struggle against the mining
An August 18 Guardian article quotes several
expressing their contempt for the mine owners. "'Lonmin treat us like
dogs,' said Thembelani Khonto, 24. 'When you're underground, it's like
you're a slave and they don't know you. But on the surface people who
don't do anything in offices
are earning more than us.'"
"Siphiwo Gqala, 25, said he sometimes spends up to 14
hours a day
underground but does not receive overtime pay. 'It's dangerous work,'
he said. 'Sometimes you go down there and a rock falls and you die. Big
vehicles can come and kill you.' Recalling the August 16 massacre, he
said: 'I've never seen something
like that: people killed like chickens. One of my friends is still
missing. I don't know if he's in the hospital or the mortuary.'"
Right from the outset of the strike on August 10 the
company set the
South African police against the workers. Four mineworkers were shot
and wounded at the Lonmin platinum mine at Nkangeng near Rustenburg. On
August 13, three miners were killed
by police, when police allegedly opened fire in self-defence after two
policemen were killed.
On August 16, mineworkers
were anticipating negotiations with
company representatives but, at the last minute, they cancelled the
and said the "matter would now be in the hands of the police." The
massacre took place when police opened fire on a large crowd of the
mine workers angry at this turn of events.
It has all the earmarks of a planned provocation to simply break the
strike by unleashing massive anarchy and violence by police armed with
automatic weapons against the mineworkers. Witnesses say many of those
shot had bullet wounds in their backs.
South African President Jacob Zuma, head
of the African National Congress
government expressed his "shock and dismay" at the mass killing,
ordered an official inquiry and said blame must be set aside until the
inquiry is complete. His statement did not condemn the police action.
Since then, not a few have been
quick to suggest the police acted appropriately. This suggests the
miners were to blame. All of it is used to guarantee that the miners'
receive no attention whatsoever and that the filthy rich mine owners
can continue to treat them like slaves.
The last time such a police massacre occurred in South
Africa was in
Soweto in June of 1976 where more than 700 youth were killed by South
African police. The massacre sparked a national rebellion, the Soweto
Uprising, that lasted (with ups and downs) until the demise of the
A comparison of the two events, one in Apartheid South
other in post-Apartheid South Africa fifty-two years later, reveals
they have something in common: the economy of this mineral rich country
continues to be dominated by foreign, largely Anglo-American, finance
capitalists who own the mining
monopolies which harvest the rich mineral deposits through the
super-exploitation of South Africa's mine workers. Eighteen years after
the South African people finally overthrew Apartheid, the rich still
get richer, while the South African masses face ever increasing poverty
There is growing frustration amongst the people of South
a new direction to their economy. Many call for the nationalization of
South African mines, a call that resonates with the mineworkers, and
especially the younger generation.
The present strike struggle and its brutal repression by
monopoly Lonmin using South Africa's police force to massacre the
workers, underlines the growing division in the country between those
who want to engage in a nation-building project using their rich mining
assets to meet the needs of the
South African people, and those who are servants of the capital-centred
world of the monopolies headquartered in London and New York.
The deaths of the platinum mineworkers must be avenged
on the basis
of vigorously defending the rights of the mineworkers and people of
South Africa to control their own lives. The demands for Lonmin to
provide a living wage are entirely just. The people must control
the direction of the economy and
who it serves. Strike struggles today also necessarily encompass the
political issue of making sure the neo-liberal vision for society is
defeated and the people are able to govern themselves.
stand shoulder to shoulder with the mineworkers and the people of South
Africa to hold the perpetrators of this
crime accountable. Those responsible for the killing of the
mineworkers, the owners of
Lonmin, must be at the centre of the inquiry into the deaths otherwise
the inquiry will be a
fraud. It is as simple as that. What would be its aim? It is not
acceptable to make the aim an investigation into whether the killings
were warranted. That is not an option. Justice for
the South African mineworkers!
Memorial for miners
killed during the strike at the Lonmin platinum mine, Marikana, South
Africa, August 23, 2012.
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