S. African non-strikers urged to resume work at 'safe' mine
MARIKANA, South Africa (AFP) - Lonmin, owner of a platinum mine where police shot dead 34 striking workers, said on Monday that police would assure the safety of miners who wished to return to work.
The roughly 3,000 workers who launched a violent, illegal strike on Aug 10 could lose their jobs if they fail to return to work on Monday, the company said in a statement.
The mine has been shuttered by the strike violence, but Lonmin on Monday urged its other 25,000 employees and 10,000 contractors to also return to the job, saying that "police consider it safe for them to report for duty again." But at the gates to the mine, few workers appeared to be reporting for duty aside from managers who drove into the complex early on Monday.
"The safety and security of our employees is paramount and nobody will be asked to report for duty if the police consider them in danger of reprisals," chief financial officer Simon Scott said in a statement. The workers on a wildcat strike, which has shuttered Lonmin's operation, had initially faced a Friday deadline to return to the job. That ultimatum was scratched after the shooting Thursday left 34 dead and 78 injured.