Monday, 10 September 2012

Letter to South African Embassy on the massacare of the miners at Marikana

Please add your names by emailing me:

To His Excellency, Dr Zola Skweyiya

Ambassador of South Africa in London
Dear Ambassador

As trade unionists and human rights activists, we were shocked and angered to learn that on Thursday, August 16, police opened fire on striking mineworkers at the British-owned Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. Forty-five mineworkers were killed in what the South African press called a "bloodbath that recalls the worst massacres of the apartheid epoch" (Business Day).

The only "crime" the miners had committed was to go on strike with their independent trade union in support of the demand for decent wages and decent working conditions from a company which has been exploiting the miners and their families for years.

We understand that the wives of the miners came out into the streets singing the songs of the struggle against the apartheid regime and demanding that the South African government, led by the African National Congress, "stop shooting our husbands and sons!"

We in Islington UNISON pledge to support the miners and all our brothers and sisters of South Africa who are engaged in a fight for a society that will give the justice and the dignity that they won after their decades-long battle against Apartheid.

We support the South African miners' demand that the South African government should withdraw the operating licence of the LONMIN Mining Company - listed on the London Stock Exchange -,and that LONMIN which has been reaping great profits annually to up R92billion but refused to accede to the workers demands should be nationalised .

We add our voices to those of millions of trade unionists and human rights activists the world over who are urging your government to immediately release those arrested and lift all charges against them.


Jane Doolan, Branch Secretary, Islington UNISON

Mike Calvert, Deputy Branch Secretary, Islington UNISON

additionally signed, and more to come:

Richard Jones, Islington UNISON, Based in Manchester
Fiona Monkman, chairperson, Islington UNISON
Cliffe Obaseki, Convenor, Black Members Group and Branch Equalities and health and Safety Officer, Islington UNISON
Alex Wood, Steward, Islington UNISON
George Binette, Branch Secretary, Camden UNISON
Diana James, Assistant Branch Secretary, Islington UNISON 
Rosemary Plummer, Schools Convenor, Islington UNISON
John Kolm-Murray, rep, Islington UNISON
Sean Fox, Branch Secretary, Haringey UNISON
Jo-Ann Rust, Secretary, King's Lynn and West Norfolk Trades Council
John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON
Jenny Densham, Lifelong Learning Officer, Islington UNISON
Denise Facey, Convenor for Housing, Islington UNISON
Jim Hollinshead, UCU rep, Liverpool John Moores University
Roger Silverman, Newham NUT
Alex Shaw, rep, Islington UNISON based in Manchester

All in a personal capacity
Keith Facey
Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw, Islington UNISON Steward, Ashton-Under-Lyne Benefits Office
Jenny Densham, Lifelong Learning Officer, Islington UNISON
All in personal capacity