Striking miners at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa say they are accepting a management pay rise offer and will return to work on Thursday.
It ends six weeks of mining strife that have hit Africa’s largest economy, and shaken the country after the dispute left 45 people dead, the worst violence since the end of white minority rule.
Strikers gathered to hear they had been awarded a 22% pay rise, which they cheered, even if it fell short of their demands.
In another sign unrest may be easing workers at world number one Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg mines resumed production.
Agreement was reached just days after hundreds of police swept through miner’s hostels and camps in Marikana looking for weapons, and confiscating and burning the clubs carried by most South African men.
No firearms were found, and few arrests were made, but the raid shook miner’s families and was an indication the government’s patience was running thin.
However one legacy of the strike may be a weakening of the ANC’s hold on unions, as a non-official one organised this stoppage, and is being congratulated by its members today, even if some may say the price paid in lives was too high.
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