According to Al-Jazeera, platinum productions in Africa have stopped due to several strikes. Mine workers have gathered since early Thursday morning. Three of the worlds biggest mines are now closed; roughly 10,000 workers have been affected by these strikes.

Reports state that “Impala Platinum, Anglo American platinum, and Lomin have embarked on a definite strike…to demand double their monthly wage.” Since January, the protesters hoped to get an increase in their wages. They expected their minimum wage pay to increase from $600 to $1,200.

However, the bid has been rejected. The companies and its workers are in the midst of an intense dialogue process. Workers hope to reach an accord where wage is raised and the three platinum companies hope to end the strike. According to reports, the strike is costing the companies around 4,000 ounces per day.

These protests have “pitted South Africa’s Association with Mineworkers and Construction Unions (AMCU) against mining firms.” South African mineworkers are now taking action to have better living standards. Their efforts have made it the largest strike since the 2012.

For example, illegal wage protest of Marikana reached volatile proportions. Here, 34 miners were shot dead. As a result, the country’s deputy president has said the government will act “decisively” to enforce law and order.

Kgalema Motlanthe, the country’s deputy president, has since then said that relations between workers and employers would only get worse if the two sides did not cooperate. In an address to the Leadership of Trade Union Federations, Kgalema mentioned that “The mining sector in our country has been in turmoil and in some instances there has been lots of loss of life.”

In addition, he mentioned that “the task was to try and ensure that mine workers exercise their bargaining rights without fear of victimization and that organized labor movements are able to embark on their activities free from violence. In this regard, we had to bring everybody together around the table to agree on path to restore stability in the mining sector.”

Here one can see poverty does not only affect the marginalized and extremely hungry, but the working class in other nations.

Stephanie Olaya

Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters
Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe Pan-African News Flickr