World unions back SA miners

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

International trade unions have pledged support for the National Union of Mineworkers strike against poor safety on mines, the NUM said yesterday.

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said trade unions in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Namibia and Botswana would submit demands for mine safety to their respective embassies.

"Trade unions globally are sending memorandums to various South African embassies to make them act on the genocide that is unfolding in the mining industry," Seshoka said.

More than 208000 workers from 60 mines are expected to down tools on Tuesday on a "no work, no pay" basis in protest against the increasing number of mine deaths. More than 30000 miners will march from Johannesburg's Library Gardens to the Chamber of Mines.

"We want to send a strong message to the industry that enough is enough. We want zero fatalities on mines," she said.

Seshoka said the NUM's objective was to reduce the yearly average of 200 deaths on South African mines.

She said workers from gold, coal and platinum mines around the country would participate in the strike.

"This will be the first industry-wide strike in the industry since mining began," she said.

During a meeting mediated by the CCMA on Tuesday, the NUM and the chamber committed themselves to adhering to the policies of the Mine Health and Safety Council.

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