Low turn-out as Marikana miners report for work – Lonmin

2012-08-20 13:12
Twenty-seven percent of the morning-shift work?force at Lonmin’s mine in Marikana, North West, showed up for work this morning, the company said.

“This is a reasonably low turn-out, but probably around what was expected under the circumstances,” it said in a statement.

“The people that showed up can be kept busy, but the mine will not be producing too much.”

On Thursday, 34 people were killed when the police opened fire on striking workers, some of them armed, when trying to disperse them after a week of violent protests.

Another 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in violence at the mine in the week before that.

The police ministry said 78 others were injured and 259 arrested during Thursday’s shooting. The 259 were expected to appear in the Garankuwa Magistrates’ Court today.

Lonmin said the ultimatum given to workers to return to work was more a “call to work” asking them to return to their designated shifts.

“The ultimatum was extended due to the extraordinary circumstances at the mine. No actual time was given as everyone works in different shifts,” the company said.

“We will accommodate the grief and fears of those affected by what happened at the mine.”

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine.

Workers also wanted higher pay.