Stand-Off As Lonmin Issues Strike Ultimatum While Miners Dig Heels In
Lonmin has issued an ultimatum to its workforce, telling workers that if they failed to report for work on Monday, they risked being dismissed.
The company spokesperson said that the deadline had been extended to Monday following Thursday’s deadly violence which killed 34 workers.
Meanwhile some Marikana miners have said that they will fight to the death until their demands are met.
They can beat us, kill us and kick and trample on us with their feet, do whatever they want to do, we aren’t going to go back to work. If they employ other people they won’t be able to work either. We will stay here and kill them.
Even ex-ANCYL leader Julius Malema has gotten in on the act calling on the workers to stick to their demands and not return to work until they are met. He also called for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma and his Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa accusing them of presiding over the massacre of people.
As it stands you wonder what the next thing will be. Lonmin says it won’t budge and the miners says neither will they. In fact what you have now is a group of people – ie the miners – who may have been reinvigorated by the fall of their comrades and are now more radicalised than before.
With information now coming to light that the miners may not in fact have been trying to attack the police but running away from the teargas that had been fired early this situation may get worse before it gets better unless handled with extreme care.
How the company thinks that threatening people’s employment at a time like this will help bring calm at this point is beyond us. It is the initial refusal to engage which has caused the situation to escalate and radicalising it further does noone any good.
Activist and rapper GODobori who was at a protest in parliament warned that the ‘massacre’ signals the full onslaught of neoliberalism supported by the anc- an alliance between nationalist bourgeoise and MNC bosses against the workers.
Like we said before, this is a flashpoint. So far, noone in authority is making the right noises