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Labour disputes mustn’t turn to bloodshed: Cosatu

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A labour dispute must never turn to bloodshed, Cosatu said as it remembered the events of Marikana on the shooting’s anniversary on Sunday.

“The Congress of South African Trade Unions remembers the loss of lives suffered by South Africa before, during and after the Marikana tragedy three years ago,” it said in a statement.

The labour federation acknowledged the work of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shootings, pointing to the findings regarding Lonmin.

Specifically, the company not doing its utmost to resolve the dispute between itself, and both workers who took part in the the unprotected strike, and those who did not.

“Cosatu calls for full implementation of the Farlam Commission [report] in relation to having mine bosses comply with housing obligations to improve living conditions of all miners in South Africa,” it said.

“Cosatu reiterates its call for urgent improvement of all mining workers’ wages and alleviate all the poverty-stricken areas around the mining complexes.”

South Africa needed to explore sustainable crowd control measures during strikes, since what was used before, during and after Marikana was inadequate. Additionally, all employers were called on to ensure their adherence to the current provisions of labour relations legislation.

Such legislation stipulated “that everyone must participate in an employment relations milieu which is premised on a ‘sound’, ‘peaceful’ and ‘mutual’ resolving of labour-related disputes”.

“Cosatu also supports the active oriented resolution of labour disputes by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The labour federation sent its “heartfelt condolences” to all the families affected by the shootings at Marikana.

“Never shall a labour dispute for a decent work agenda result in bloodshed,” it said.

On August 16 2012, police shot dead 34 striking mineworkers at Lonmin’s mine in Marikana, in the North West. Ten people were in strike related violence in the week prior to the shootings. News24

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