[gpga-news] PrsRls: Greens Ask Support for Striking Workers, Wildcat Strikes Sweep S. Africa

Hugh Esco hesco at greens.org
Fri Oct 12 09:12:46 PDT 2012


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 12th, 2012

For further information, please contact:
        presssecretary at georgiagreenparty.org

Greens Ask Support for Striking Workers
Wave of Wildcat Strikes Sweeping South Africa

"The events rapidly unfolding in the Republic of South Africa are of
sufficient scale that they threaten many of the governing institutions
of that young nation," said Hugh Esco, a former Secretary of the
Georgia Green Party, who twice ran for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.
"The SAYRO office has become a vital center for organizing among the
workers whose strikes have crossed industrial sectors and which is
challenging the ANC-led governing regime. This struggle demands the
support of Greens and all committed to justice."

Individual current and past members of the Georgia Green Party state
leadership this past week began circulating an appeal for contributions
to support the Socialist Azanian Youth Revolutionary Organisation.
SAYRO had published an appeal for international solidarity and financial
contributions to stave off their imminent eviction from their
Johannesburg South Africa national office.

Since then their letter has been joined by three Green Party nominees
for President of the United States, including 2004 candidate David Cobb
of California, 2008 candidate Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and the
Party's current Presidential standard-bearer, Jill Stein of
Massachusettes.  Also cosigning the letter are Justine McCabe, a
cochair of the International Committee of the Green Party of the Unites
States and Greg Gerritt, chair of the GPotUS IC's subcommittee on
Africa.

Following last month's massacre by police of at least 47 platinum
miners near Marikana on the outskirts of Pretoria, the regime brought
charges against 270 of the survivors of the massacre for murder, under
an apartheid-era anti-labor legal conspiracy theory alleging that the
miners were somehow responsible for the police violence because they
had gathered with a 'collective-purpose'.  Since then the 270 have been
released from custody without having the charges dropped.

Since then, Lonmin has offered an 11% - 22% increase in wages for
mineworkers according to job category. But as many as 75,000 miners are
said to be on strike, amounting to 20% of the nation's mining industry.
They have been joined by wildcat strikes in the transportation industry
with truckers idling their rigs nationwide.

Last Friday, the New York Times reported that 12,000 workers were fired
by Lonmin for refusing to return to work.  On Monday striking workers
showed up at the pits in spite of the heavily armed police presence and
conducted a mass meeting in which they voted overwhelmingly to
decertify the National Union of Mineworkers as their collective
bargaining agent.  The NUM is a COSATU affliate. Many workers have
rejected the Congress of South African Trade Unions for their cozy
relationship with the ANC-led regime which has imposed neo-liberal
austerity economic policies nation-wide and martial law in the mining
districts.

Sources report that the wild cat strikes are likely to soon spread to
the docks and to other industrial sectors.

"South Africans have been clear that the 1994 elections gave them little
more than the flag, while the ruling minority kept all the money and all
the land," said Bruce Dixon, an initiating cosigner of the Green Party's
appeal, the chair of the Georgia Green Party and Managing Editor of
BlackAgendaReport.com.  "That prominent black African capitalists like
Cyril Ramaphosa, Patrice Motsepe and Tokyo Sexwale have made the Forbes
500 list of the world's 1% has not changed the reality on the ground for
Azania's 99%, the working people whose labor is responsible for those
accumulated billions."

-- 30 --

The original appeal and a growing collection of
background materials on the subject are published at:
http://www.georgiagreenparty.org/Solidarity_for_Striking_Workers_of_Azania

With a large portion of their membership on strike,
SAYRO's normal sources of funds has dried up and they still
operates under threat of eviction as early as this weekend.
Supporters are urged to contribute what they can financially
at the link above.




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