Reinstate dismissed mine workers: Cosatu

By Drum Digital
18 October 2012

Cosatu on Wednesday called on all mining companies to reinstate about 15,596 fired workers and address issues facing the sector.

"Instead of addressing the issue of poverty, wages and pathetic living conditions, the employers have chosen to dismiss 15,596 workers," Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC) said in a statement.

It called for the immediate reinstatement of all workers, and for threats of dismissals to be withdrawn.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions held a special CEC meeting at its Johannesburg headquarters on Monday and Tuesday.

Workers at several mines across the country were on strike demanding a monthly salary of between R12,500 and R16,000.

Anglo American Platinum fired 12,000 workers, while Gold Fields had given their strikers until 2pm Thursday to return to work or face dismissal.

Cosatu said in support of its reinstatement call it would embark on solidarity actions across the economy.

It called on the safety and security minister to improve the police's ability to investigate the violence, intimidation and killing of National Union of Mineworkers shopstewards.

Cosatu intended making submission to the Farlam commission of inquiry.

"There is no doubt that the Lonmin/Marikana [violence] and subsequent events have exposed a number of weaknesses in our organisation," it said.

The Farlam commission, headed by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the police's shooting dead 34 striking workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine during a protest on August 16.

The commission was postponed to October 22 to allow time to arrange for family members of the deceased to attend the hearings.

-by Sapa

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