CEP condemns brutal killings of striking miners in South Africa
OTTAWA – The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) harshly condemns the wild violence that took place yesterday in South Africa. A strike line turned to bloodshed when police opened fire at the Lonmin platinum mine just 90 km outside of Johannesburg. The violence killed 35 miners and dozens more were injured.
"Such a senseless show of violence from police forces against working people is completely unacceptable", said Dave Coles, CEP National President. "Police brutality is no way to resolve a labour dispute and it is shameful that lives have been lost in the course of a strike".
The Lonmin mine workers have been on strike for about a week in a bid to secure a wage increase that was promised by the company. Police forces attempted to first disperse yesterday's strike with the use of tear gas and water cannons before proceeding to shoot at the striking workers.
"On behalf of CEP members, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the 35 miners who were killed while defending their right for better pay and working conditions," added Coles. "We stand in solidarity with the workers of the Lonmin mine during their strike and in this time of struggle and grief."
The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada is the largest union in several key sectors of Canada's economy, including forestry, energy, telecommunications and media and represents over 120,000 members.