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Afrique du Sud : NUMSA backs Mineworkers strike for living wage

D 10 août 2011     H 04:15     A NUMSA     C 1 messages

NUMSA the dependable ally of the NUM has pledged its unwavering support and solidarity on the ongoing industrial action for a living wage by mineworkers.

This industrial action by mineworkers should serve as a pilgrimage of workers resolve to smash the neo-liberal accumulation trajectory which has enriched few white males and plunged the majority black African working class into inferior conditions, squalor, poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment as can be seen in our rural areas, townships, hostels and squatter camps.

The wage gap that currently exists between an executive and the lowest paid worker requires an ordinary worker to work more than 333 years to close. This is an affront attack on our 17 years of democracy and freedom.

Therefore, this industrial action by mineworkers should not be de-linked from the broader class struggles of radically changing the ownership and control patterns of the strategic sectors of our economy such as steel, banking and mining to be in the hands of the State on behalf of the people in line with the Freedom Charter, in order for the State to accumulate much needed resources for the provision of free, quality public education, faster and improved service delivery and long over-due implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.

This industrial action should not only be about wage increases, but should be used to demand the regulation of executive pay to be in line with a skilled worker, in order to close the apartheid wage gap. The mineworkers should also use this industrial action to call for progressive taxation, so that the rich pay more in the form of taxes and the disclosure of company profits as a platform from which to advance the quest for a living wage.

We urge mineworkers to remain firm and resolute in their demands for a living wage and improved conditions of employment.