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‘End mine racism’ at Modikwa January 26, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Africa, African, African Americans, African-American, anti-black, Black, Blacks, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Racism, Racist, White, Whites.

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers at Modikwa Platinum in Limpopo began striking on Friday morning to demand an end to racism at the mine, the union said.

“We’re outside the mine… there are more than 2000 miners (striking),” said union spokesperson Onis Serothwane on Friday.

Modikwa Platinum mine management, however, said it was confident the dispute with striking workers would be resolved through discussions.

Francis Petersen, a spokesperson for the mine in Johannesburg, said the mine was meeting with Num on Friday.

“That meeting as far as I know has already started today (Friday)… I am positive that there will be some agreement,” he said.

Petersen said discussions included wage agreements. He would not specify any details.

Tools downed

He said management had met with Num prior to the strike to discuss a list of demands. Some issues were not agreed upon while the resolution of others could not be implemented immediately.

Johannesburg-based Num spokesperson Mike Fafuli said strikers had “downed their tools” at 6am on Friday.

In a media statement issued at noon on Friday, he said the union was striking against discrepancies caused by racism in the company.

“Their gripe is the aggravating wage gap between black and white miners and the refusal of the mine management to accede to wage demands that are viewed as helpful in alleviating the wage discrepancy along racial lines.”

Fafuli said black miners were put at minimum pay level while all white miners were put at maximum pay level.

Frans Baleni, Num general secretary, said the “wage discrepancy actually creates a trend of permanent inequality in the mining industry when good people are seized with the concern of resolving this terrible legacy.

‘Supremacist tendency’

“Our cadres must fight the supremacist tendency when and where it rears its ugly head,” he said.

Other demands included reviewing the issue of workers being expected to work additional shifts on their days off, and a 100 percent transport subsidy.

Fafuli said the transport subsidy would “end transport deduction of R162 per month from their wages currently in place”.

The union said it had pressed for equality since November last year.

Petersen declined to comment on NUM’s allegations that racism was practised at the mine.

He said management respected that the miners were entitled to strike because they had followed due process.

However, mine production would be affected. “In terms of a production perspective we would like to see the union come back and continue with their activities,” Petersen said.

Modikwa Platinum in Limpopo is a 50 percent joint venture between Anglo Platinum and African Rainbow Minerals.

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: iafrica.com

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