Workers and Socialist Party backs gold strike and calls on mineworkers to widen strike action

The Workers & Socialist Party gives its full backing to the gold mineworkers who begin their strike action at midnight tonight. WASP calls on the NUM organised workers taking strike action to appeal to their brothers and sisters in Amcu to join them to bring about a complete shutdown of the gold mining sector until their wage demands are met. WASP calls on the rank and file of both NUM and Amcu to pressure their leaders to give notice of a unified strike.

There is a war being waged by the mine bosses against their own workforces. It has been reported that the mine bosses have been preparing themselves to weather a long strike by beefing up security and hoarding billions of rands. They are prepared to try and starve the workers back to work and impose their paltry pay offer of just 6.5%. They want to maintain the cruel irony of having those workers who dig out gold – the symbol of wealth and value – live in abject poverty. There is only one answer to this: workers unity. We call on mineworkers in all sectors to organise strike action in support of the gold workers’ wage demands and against the retrenchments planned across the industry.

It is crucial that in the course of this strike the mineworkers themselves have democratic control over every aspect of the action. It is for the workers to democratically decide on the tactics used, elect those they trust to negotiate on their behalf, and decide on what terms they are prepared to return to work. The best way to do this is to elect independent strike committees, a tactic successfully employed in last year’s sector-wide strike action. It is for the unions – NUM and Amcu – to carry out the democratic mandate of the workers.

WASP stands for the nationalisation of the mines under democratic workers control and management.

WASP is preparing itself for its first electoral challenge in the 2014 national and provincial elections. The cause of the mineworkers will be at the centre of the WASP campaign, and mineworkers themselves will be candidates on the lists.


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