15,000 Mine Workers Strike in South Africa

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 8:30 am (UTC-5)
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New labor unrest has hit South Africa's mining industry, with 15,000 workers going on strike at a mine near Johannesburg.

Mining firm Gold Fields Limited says the strike, which began Sunday, has suspended all production at its KDC West gold mine. The company says the reason for the strike is unclear, but its leaders are talking with the workers and various unions in hopes of ending the strike quickly.

Police shot 34 striking workers at a platinum mine last month in Marikana township, setting off a wave of stoppages and protests in South Africa's mining sector.

A week-long strike by 12,000 workers at Gold Fields' KDC East mine ended Friday.

Workers at the Marikana mine were due to return to work Monday, but fewer than 10 percent showed up. Those workers are seeking to triple their monthly salaries.

Labor unions hold great power and political influence in South Africa. The various strikes are believed to be an outgrowth of rivalries between South African mineworkers' unions.