South Africa miners ignore calls to return to work

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South Africa miners ignore calls to return to work

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Less than ten percent of striking South African platinum miners have turned up for work at the Marikana colliery, despite calls by unions to end their wildcat action.

Last month forty-four people died at the Lonmin-owned mine, west of Johannesburg, during deadly violence between police and striking workers.

Around 15,000 miners from the world’s fourth biggest gold prospector Gold Fields joined the action on Monday.

A local aid organisation has begun handing out food supplies for striking workers who have not been paid since their walk-out began.

“Yesterday we fed people here, in excess of three thousand people. Today we are planning to come and see how many people will come out. I think we will be able to feed as many as five thousand people,” said Patrick Thomas from the charity Gift of the Givers.

Management have repeatedly demanded an end to the walk-out. They signed agreements with three major unions last week.

But strikers claim union leaders are too close to mine management and have called for a doubling of their monthly wage to the equivalent of 1200 euros.