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Shopsteward Volume 23 No. 3

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU backs arrested mine workers

17 -02-07

The Congress of South African Trade Unions sends its full support to the seven members of the National Union of Mineworkers who were arrested yesterday, 16 February, at the Impala Platinum mine in Rustenburg and demands their immediate release. If they are not freed we shall support the call for a mass picket of the court when they appear on Monday.

We also send our best wishes for a full recovery to the workers who were injured when police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at workers. We condemn this provocative overreaction of the police, which should have no place in a democratic society, and demand a full inquiry into the police violence.

COSATU sends a message of solidarity to the 15 000 strikers who are demanding the provision of antiretroviral medication to workers living with HIV/Aids, which is fully consistent with the federation's policy for all workers.

We welcome the report that an agreement was reached that workers should go back to work as soon as possible and that mine management has agreed to suspend John Andrews, the mine doctor, whom workers say has no respect for patients at the hospital and was h olding up the process of rolling-out ARVs to patients.

We also welcome the proposed meeting on Monday between union and management and urge the two parties to agree to the immediate, full implementation of ARV provision to all who need it, in line with COSATU's memorandum on 1 December 2006 to the NW Provincia l Premier.

For further information please phone the COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, on 082 304 4055.

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