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  |  Affiliates Press Statements

NUMSA condemns shooting of striking workers at Dunlop, Howick

26 September 2012

The KwaZulu-Natal National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) strongly condemns the cowardly and reckless shooting of fourteen (14) striking workers in Howick, Dunlop plant by members of a private security company hired by Dunlop profiteers.

We wish the injured fourteen workers a speedy and full recovery. No amount of excessive, illegal and deadly force will deter us in our quest for a living wage and improved conditions of employment.

We have always adhered to the striking rules by making sure that our strikes or demonstrations are peaceful, lawful and we have always urged maximum disciplined amongst striking workers. Further, we have always condemned all forms of violence, intimidation or destruction of property in the course of a strike or disputes.

The Dunlop bosses must publicly explain why they hired a private security agency which is obsessed with opening fire at striking workers at Dunlop.

Our strike action has always been peaceful since it began six (6) weeks ago.

We are disgusted by the growing trend by some trigger-happy security personnel to use the barrel of the gun during industrial disputes between the bosses and workers. This clearly demonstrates that capitalists or those who owns big monopolies are prepared to use security agencies to decapitate workers by using deadly force and undermine their hard won right to collectively struggle or fight for fair and equitable redistribution of wealth at the point of production.

Furthermore, we are annoyed by the conduct or actions of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in relation to the unwarranted shooting of workers. The SAPS in Howick have not been willing to take action on numerous complaints lodged by workers against this trigger-happy security company.

This reinforces our suspicion that police have been coerced or gave license to this security company to shoot at our members.

We remain firm that public safety is the responsibility of the police, and not the responsibility of private and militaristic security agencies.

We, therefore condemn in the strongest terms the management of Dunlop for hiring a private company to do the dirty job of shooting at peaceful striking workers.

We warn the bosses that the practice of using aggressive and violent private security companies to shoot workers during strikes is bound to open a chapter in the history of industrial disputes in post 1994 South Africa the bosses will regret.

We call on the Ministry of Police to take full responsibility for policing in South Africa, and to take drastic action against those irresponsible security personnel that fired shots at the defenceless and innocent workers at Dunlop.

Mbuso Ngubane, Regional Secretary 079 502 3242