By Staff Reporter
A multinational mining corporation has cut off water and electricity supply in order to punish families of workers protesting poor working conditions in Mokhukhwini community in South Africa’s North West, according to NUMSA Hlanganani regional secretary, Jerry Morulane.
Morulane from the radical National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), stated in a press release on Friday that the behaviour by Lanxess, a multinational company with operations in different parts of the world must be strongly condemned.
“The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Hlanganani region condemns in the strongest terms the abusive behavior of Lanxess Mines. Lanxess is a multinational company with operations in different parts of the world. They have operations in the North West, and it is here where the company has resorted to employing dirty tactics against our members and the community of Mokhukhwini,” Morulane stated. “NUMSA is on strike at Lanxess Mines in Rustenburg in the North West. At the core of our demand is that the company must recognise the union and grant us organisational rights. Lanxess is refusing to recognise us because they know we will expose them for abusing and exploiting workers.”
He indicated that members of the community have also joined the workers’ protest.
“Our members have been on strike and have been joined by the surrounding community in protest action. We are in solidarity with them and their demands. They have raised their own demands against the company. When Lanxess Mines wanted to establish operations, they promised to develop the area by building proper housing and they promised to relocate them. To date, they have not kept their promises,” Morulane stated further. “To make matters worse they have cut off electricity supply and water to the community as punishment for the protest. For this they must be strongly condemned.”
Morulane charged that Lanxess was also implicated on a number of issues.
“They are hiding incidents and accidents. Our members lodged a complaint of some of these incidents with the Department of Mineral Resources in June. Unfortunately, DMR has not responded.The management of this company is harassing and intimidating our members and they are threatening employees who are joining NUMSA. They are refusing to cooperate with an instruction from CCMA to finalise the verification of membership,” stated Morulane. “They are actively threatening our members with retrenchments/dismissal for joining NUMSA. We condemn the backward management of Lanxess. They think their threats will stop us from demanding our rights. We will continue to expose them for the abusive company that they really are. The strike will continue until our demands are met. The working class is showing that when it is united, it can never be defeated!