Speech to Congress
12 September 2012
TUC General Council international spokesperson Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the UCU, made the following remarks in moving the General Council statement on solidarity with South African miners and unions.
Congress, we've all been shocked by the news from South Africa's platinum mines.
The killing of 34 striking miners by the police on Thursday 16 August is totally unacceptable, Congress, and the General Council believe we have to make our voice heard and say publicly that we utterly condemn the shootings.
Taking strike action is a fundamental right and should never end in murder.
The South African trade union movement - indeed, South African society at large - has been stunned by the violence.
This is a challenge to the whole of South African society - government, business and communities as well as trade unions.
Next week, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, COSATU, hold their conference.
The TUC will be represented there by our Assistant General Secretary, Kay Carberry, and she will take with her our message of solidarity and sympathy.
British trade unions have a special link with our sisters and brothers in COSATU, forged in the anti-apartheid struggle, but no less strong today.
We feel their pain over the killings at Marikana. We share their anger, and their sorrow.
Like them, we demand answers and we demand justice.
We demand that British multinationals like Lonmin stop putting profits before miners' lives, and negotiate social justice and economic justice with the unions.
The deaths in Marikana have provoked outrage and soul-searching.
Those deaths are unacceptable, Congress. But they must not be in vain.
Please send the strongest message you can. Please agree this statement.
Briefing document (300 words) issued 14 Sep 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-21421-f0.cfm
printed 25 May 2013 at 06:29 hrs by 188.8.131.52