Boilermakers condemn killings at South Africa’s Marikana platinum mine
Statement by Newton B. Jones, President of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers
KANSAS CITY, KS, AUG. 23, 2012 — The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, a proud affiliate of IndustriALL, joins with the global federation in condemning the violence that resulted in the deaths of 35 mine workers at the Marikana platinum mine near Johannesburg August 16.
We offer our condolences to the family members and co-workers of those who were shot down by police. We also call for a thorough investigation into the violence by the appropriate authorities as well as the mine’s owner, United Kingdom-based Lonmin.
We understand that much of the unrest at the mine is caused by the employer’s attempt to circumvent the legitimate National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which also is an affiliate of the IndustriALL global union. By introducing a company-backed “yellow union,” the employer has fostered this unnecessary violence, tragic loss of life and work disruption.
We call on the employer to cease its underhanded interference with NUM’s lawful collective representation of mine workers, to pay the families of those killed, to pay the workers who were unable to do their jobs due to the Lonmin-caused strike, and to treat its employees with the dignity and respect they deserve.