#1 Trade Unionism in Africa: the Marikana massacre of August 2012 and its history and consequences - Interview Part 1
On August 10, 2012, 3,000 miners joined in a wildcat strike demanding a 125 percent wage increase. A few weeks earlier, the British mining company Lonmin had negotiated higher wages with some miners without union involvement, and the remaining workers wanted to match their wages.
The pro-government union NUM and management at the platinum mine refused to listen to the workers' claims, so the miners rushed to the union office to submit their demands. There, NUM trade union leaders opened fire on the strikers, injuring two people. In the hours and days that followed, the situation continued to escalate and four miners were shot, two policemen and two security guards were burned and killed with machetes.
after these events the workers continued to refuse to return to work and gathered with their families on a nearby hill, four or five of the strikers carried firearms. Hundreds more were unarmed. Meanwhile the polive had arrived with a contingent of 800 men and several tanks and helicopters. They surrounded the hill with barbwire and opened fire on the crowd. A few minutes later, more strikers were shot dead on a nearby hill, at least 14 of them from behind or with their arms raised.
This interview gives first a summary of the events and then, anarchosyndicalist activist for trade unions and social movements, Warren McGregor, gives the history (colonialism, apartheid, neo-colonialism/global capitalism) and consequences of the events (brutality, Farlam commission, no justice) with focus on trade union activism. Part 2 of the interview (see other upload) explains the consequences for trade unions in South Africa (splits from Congress of South African Trade Unions, reparations to families of the victims, international solidarity and responsability of profiters like German company BASF).