South African platinum miners last week defied a concerted attempt to break their four-month strike for a living wage. But to win they need solidarity from workers everywhere.
Mine owners hoped that after the country’s general election they could force a return to work. Miners feared extreme violence.
The striking Amcu union held a rally by the Lonmin mine near Rustenberg near where police carried out the Marikana massacre of striking miners in 2012.
British lawyer Jim Nichol, who has been representing the families of massacre victims, was one of those who addressed the mass meeting.
He told Socialist Worker, “After 16 long weeks on strike, 15,000 came to the rally. They were vibrant, united and determined.”
Now activists are stepping up the solidarity and their calls for other unions to back the miners.
The Socialist Workers Party in Britain has already sent one large donation from its members and supporters for the solidarity effort.
A convoy of four trucks set out for North West and Limpopo provinces on Monday filled with food and clothing to assist the miners and their families.
Each truck contained 200-300 food parcels and was due to be met by a committee of striking workers and community leaders from the hostels and communities bordering the mine shafts.
The food is worth around £20,000. Further food trucks were planned to set out this week from strike supporters.
Rehad Desai from the Marikana Support Campaign said, “This strike is an all-out fight for social and economic equality.
“No socialist can stand idly by while such a titanic battle is taking place.
“The food collection drive for the mineworkers is essential to stopping the platinum bosses breaking the strike.”
The SWP will soon be sending further money. If you can help, please phone Charlie Kimber on 020 7819 1170 or email [email protected] We will get your money there without any transfer charges.
Marikana Support Campaign
Account name: HRMT1 for Marikana Support Campaign
Branch code: 101109
Account no: 1011202366
Reference: Marikana Hardship Fund
SWIFT code: NEDSZAJJ
Official Amcu miners’ fund
Bank: Standard Bank—Witbank Business
Account Name: AMCU Association of Mineworkers and Construction Strike Fund
Account Number: 332 748 634
Branch Code: 052 750
SWIFT (Sort Code): SBZAZAJJ