A Modern Day Worker Revolt

In a stunning and shocking turn of events at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in South Africa, Reuters shows this extremely graphic clip of police opening fire on striking miners. A Reuters cameraman says he saw at least seven bodies after the shooting, which occurred when police laying out barricades of barbed wire were outflanked by some of an estimated 3,000 miners massed on a rocky outcrop near the mine, northwest of Johannesburg. Marx is not dead. In fact, far from it.


and Via Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

Lonmin Plc (LMI) slumped in London trading after saying Chief Executive Officer Ian Farmer was hospitalized with an illness and it may miss output goals following a violent strike. South African press photographs showed at least 10 people dead today as police opened fire on armed miners.


A six-day work stoppage at Lonmin’s Marikana operations in South Africa’s North West province has resulted in rioting, and fatalities rose today as police moved in to disperse protesters, Johannesburg’s eNews channel reported. Lonmin also issued a statement saying Farmer had a “serious illness” and Chairman Roger Phillimore will take charge of the executive committee.


Farmer’s hospitalization gives Lonmin “a lot of problems,” Carole Ferguson, an analyst at Fairfax IS Ltd., said by telephone from London. Farmer has a “hands-on role” where the company has its operations, she said.


Lonmin, the third-biggest platinum miner, has lost metals output equivalent to 15,000 ounces of platinum at Marikana since rock-drill operators downed tools on Aug. 10, the Johannesburg- based company said in a separate statement. The workers, many of whom have camped out near the site, have been issued with an ultimatum to return by tomorrow or face dismissal, it said.


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