As striking workers at the Lonmin mine in South Africa mourned their colleagues who were gunned down by police last week, managers issued an ultimatum.
The message was – end the wildcat pay strike by Monday or face the sack.
With attitudes hardening after Thursday’s shootings, it’s not clear how many of the 3,000 strikers will return to work.
The industrial action over pay and conditions at the Marikana platinum mine near Johannesburg began over a week ago and was sparked by a turf war between rival unions.
The deaths of 34 workers came after police used automatic weapons against miners armed with machetes and spears.
Ten other people were killed prior to the police shooting including a union shop steward who was hacked to death.
The deadly dispute is also proving an embarrassment for the ruling ANC as it highlights the continuing inequalities in Africa’s biggest economy.