Mining workers struggles
By Terry Cook, 10 November 2014
Amid the collapse of the mining boom, safety is being further eroded in one of the country’s most dangerous industries.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 6 November 2014
An acrimonious strike has crippled the South African Post Office for 12 weeks.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 30 October 2014
Militant strikes by workers have earned South Africa the pejorative title of “protest capital of the world.”
By Naomi Spencer, 22 October 2014
The death at Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine was the 13th US coal mining fatality this year
By Derek Bell and Martin Kreickenbaum, 1 October 2014
The film deals with the atrocity against mine workers carried out by the ANC government in South Africa, in cooperation with trade unions and company management.
By Clement Daly, 29 September 2014
The most severe form of black lung, a preventable disease resulting from insufficient ventilation in coalmines, has increased tenfold over fifteen years.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 12 September 2014
This is the conclusion of a two-part article on the promotion of Castroism by South Africa’s trade unions.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 11 September 2014
This is the first of a two-part article on the promotion of Castroism by the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
By Clement Daly, 22 August 2014
Alpha Natural Resources plans to lay off approximately 1,100 coal miners and support staff at 11 affiliated coal mining operations in southern West Virginia by mid-October.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 19 August 2014
Workers’ resolve is hardening, even as the unions manoeuvre for paltry wage increases.
By Mike Head, 15 July 2014
Falling commodity prices and restructuring by mining and auto companies are expected to send the jobless rate even higher.
By Chris Marsden and Barry Mason, 27 June 2014
The five-month strike of 70,000 South African platinum miners is over following the acceptance of a deal by the Association of Miners and Construction Union.
By Joe Lopez, 10 June 2014
Maritime workers’ disputes in the Pilbara mining region are seen by corporate elites as test cases for powers to block industrial action.
By Clement Daly, 2 June 2014
The Obama administration has unveiled new respirable dust standards for the nation’s coal mines.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 31 May 2014
Ngoako Ramatlhodi has set up a team composed of personnel from his department, the Department of Labour and the Treasury in an attempt to ease the concerns of global investors.
By our reporters, 29 May 2014
The World Socialist Web Site conducted an interview with two South African miners.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 17 May 2014
The African National Congress government will now come under increasing pressure from international and domestic capital to find other means of breaking the strike.
By Clement Daly, 16 May 2014
The West Virginia mine where two miners died earlier this week had an appalling safety record with hundreds of violations and injuries.
By Naomi Spencer, 16 May 2014
The death of an Illinois miner Wednesday marks the sixth US coal mine fatality of the year, and the third in as many days.
By Naomi Spencer, 14 May 2014
Two miners were killed at a mine owned by Patriot Coal Monday night after the collapse of a roof and wall.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 7 May 2014
The longest labour dispute since the end of apartheid is set to overshadow the May 7 general election touted as a celebration of 20 years of majority rule.
By Terry Cook, 5 May 2014
Over the past two years, coal producers have already slashed 12,000 jobs, including 8,000 in Queensland alone.
By Terry Cook, 29 April 2014
The two miners were killed when a catastrophic rock burst buried their continuous mining machine under tonnes of coal.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 16 April 2014
South Africa’s ruling elite hope to utilise the long-running strike in the platinum mines to push through a sweeping “restructuring” of the industry.
By Thabo Seseane Jr, 10 April 2014
Some 70,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union have been on strike at the three largest platinum producers since January 23.
By Clement Daly, 5 April 2014
Saturday marks the fourth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine tragedy in Montcoal, West Virginia, when a massive explosion ripped through the Massey Energy-owned mine, killing 29 coal miners.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 4 April 2014
At the Farlam Inquiry into the police murder of 34 striking miners in Marikana, evidence was heard that the victims were surrendering when they were killed.
By Thabo Seseane Jr, 3 April 2014
Mine owners are holding the threat of mechanisation and mass layoffs over the heads of the strikers.
By Daniel Saul, 22 March 2014
The official response underscored the utter contempt for working class communities like Morwell and neighbouring towns.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 20 March 2014
The aptitude for horse-trading that Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters displays, the willingness to sit around a table and cut deals, is the hallmark of a self-seeking member of the elite.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 27 February 2014
Evidence belies the testimony of Police Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo that the massacre at the Lonmin mine in 2012 was not a premeditated bloodbath.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 24 February 2014
Abandoned mines around Johannesburg, often improperly secured by mining companies, are a magnet for laid-off workers, and the sites of numerous fatalities.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 21 February 2014
This is the conclusion of a two-part comment on the manoeuvres of South Africa’s trade unions to contain growing militancy in the working class. Part one was posted February 20.
By Clement Daly, 20 February 2014
Numerous reports and studies have documented the alarming resurgence of black lung throughout the coal mining industry.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 20 February 2014
This is first in a two-part comment on the manoeuvres of South Africa’s trade unions to contain the growth of militancy in the working class.
By Clement Daly, 13 January 2014
A group of radiologists at Johns Hopkins University Hospital has been instrumental in preventing thousands of coal miners from receiving black lung benefits.
By Thabo Seseane Jr., 30 December 2013
The showdown between different elements in COSATU is bound up with factionalism among the elite.
By Terry Cook, 13 December 2013
The tragic deaths of two miners in Tasmania this week brings to four the number of Australian mine fatalities in just three weeks.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 December 2013
The revelation that Nelson Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party’s central committee has been passed over in near universal silence by the corporate media.
By Bill Van Auken, 7 December 2013
Governments that once denounced Nelson Mandela as a “terrorist” and supported the Apartheid regime that sentenced him to life imprisonment now hail him as a global icon of peace and reconciliation.
By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2013
The death of Ohio miner Ryan Lashley brings to 20 the number of US coal miners killed on the job this year.
By Nick Barrickman, 19 November 2013
The event marks the worst mine-related accident in the state since 1981, when an explosion claimed the lives of 15 workers.
By Naomi Spencer, 9 November 2013
A coal miner was crushed in a wall collapse Monday, bringing to 19 the number of US miners killed on the job this year.
By Clement Daly, 24 October 2013
Four coal miners were killed in separate incidents during the 16-day shutdown of the US government, as the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) operated with less than half its staff.
By Terry Cook, 24 October 2013
The lock-out of Helensburgh miners is part of a broader offensive by employers, in collaboration with the unions, that has already led to wage-cutting deals at General Motors Holden and the Beenleigh meat works.
By Clement Daly, 15 October 2013
The United Mine Workers announced that it reached a “global settlement” with Patriot Coal and Peabody Energy.
By Chris Marsden, 28 September 2013
South African police face accusations this week at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry that they doctored and concealed evidence in order to whitewash their August 2012 massacre of striking miners.
By Thomas Gaist, 7 September 2013
The National Union of Mineworkers accepted a small wage increase offered by the bosses, sending miners back to work.
By Terry Cook, 7 September 2013
The Australian Financial Review has identified the Collinsville dispute as a “landmark workplace struggle.”
By Andrea Peters, 22 August 2013
Entering the fourth day of their nationwide strike, South African autoworkers are demanding a 14 percent wage increase.
By Clement Daly, 21 August 2013
UMW members in West Virginia and Kentucky approved a new contract with bankrupt Patriot Coal, which fails to secure funding for retiree health care
By Arun Kumar, Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 26 July 2013
There is growing discontent among Neyveli Lignite Corporation workers over the unions’ shutting down of their strike against the Indian government’s plans to privatise the highly-profitable coal-mining and power-generation company.
By Clement Daly, 16 July 2013
The UMW bureaucracy has responded to the historic assault on the living standards of miners with a series of impotent protests.
By Thomas Gaist, 9 July 2013
Thousands of miners went on strike Sunday evening in a continuation of months of workers’ struggles against multinational corporations and the ANC government.
By Thomas Gaist, 18 June 2013
Fierce clashes broke out between police forces and platinum miners at an Amplats site in Rustenburg.
By Thomas Gaist, 7 June 2013
With militancy on the rise among miners, South Africa’s unions and ruling elite are preparing renewed mass repression against the working class.
By Clement Daly, 4 June 2013
Patriot Coal has been granted permission to tear up its collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers and escape its obligations to provide health care to its retirees.
By Thomas Gaist, 1 June 2013
Three wildcat strikes broke this week in South African mines, as a new wave of militant action spreads across the country.
By Terry Cook, 29 May 2013
The dispute comes amid a wider restructuring within the Australian coal industry, triggered by falling demand in Asia.
By Thomas Gaist, 24 May 2013
Police fired volleys of rubber bullets at striking South African miners at a mine owned by Lanxess Chrome Mining Ltd on Tuesday, near the city of Rustenburg.
By Thomas Gaist, 17 May 2013
In the second wildcat strike to break this week, miners at Amplat refused to go underground Thursday evening.
Three years since West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster
By Kate Randall, 2 April 2013
Three years after the West Virginia tragedy, cuts threaten to further undermine mine safety, inevitably leading to more deaths.
By Naomi Spencer, 19 March 2013
The latest fatality comes in the wake of a statewide “safety standdown” called by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the eruption of a fire in another mine.
14 March 2013
Afrikaans is the third most common home language in South Africa and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language.
By Chris Marsden, 9 March 2013
Nine South African police officers have been charged with the murder of taxi driver Mido Macia.
By Mike Jones, 5 March 2013
Opposition grows to the killing of 27-year-old taxi driver, Mido Macia, by South African police on February 27.
By Chris Marsden, 23 February 2013
The 18 February events could easily have escalated into a second Marikana massacre, when police killed 34 striking miners in August of 2012.
By Naomi Spencer, 21 February 2013
A second miner has been killed in the same mine where a fatal accident occurred just two weeks ago.
By Clement Daly, 20 February 2013
US coal mining jobs dropped by 8.5 percent last year.
By Clement Daly, 19 February 2013
Two more US coal miners were killed last week, bringing the nation’s coal mining fatalities to five this year.
By Clement Daly, 13 February 2013
Two West Virginia coal miners were killed in as many days last week, bringing the nation’s coal mine fatalities to three this year.
By Joshua Lumet, 30 January 2013
The strike, which has led to the death of at least three workers, was ended last week pending a government announcement on a new minimum wage.
By Naomi Spencer, 23 January 2013
Coal truck drivers at two Harlan, Kentucky mines initiated a strike over non-payment of wages.
By Chris Marsden, 24 December 2012
The election of Zuma and Ramaphosa is an endorsement of the massacre at Marikana and the ensuing brutal assault on striking miners.
By Clement Daly, 11 December 2012
Patriot Coal has announced it will phase out its mountaintop removal coal mining operations as part of a $440 million settlement with environmental groups.
By Clement Daly, 10 December 2012
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy has announced it will permanently close its Willow Lake Mine in southern Illinois, laying off 400 miners after a miner was crushed to death last month.
By Iqra Qalam and Jashua Lumet, 8 December 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has called off a strike in the Western Cape Province in a bid to contain growing anger and resistance among farm workers.
By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 21 November 2012
The three-week-long strike by farm workers in the fertile farmlands of the Boland in South Africa has now spread to 24 different areas and has led to further violent clashes with police.
By Clement Daly, 21 November 2012
Patriot Coal is seeking to discharge health care and pension obligations for more than 22,000 miners through bankruptcy.
By Clement Daly, 20 November 2012
Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal mining company in the US, announced layoffs in response to the so-called “war on coal.”
By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 16 November 2012
Militant struggles among South Africa’s impoverished workers have spread to the Western Cape province’s farms, following on months of upheavals in the mining industry.
By Julie Hyland, 12 November 2012
The inquiry into the South African police massacre of striking miners at Marikana heard evidence that police tampered with the scene to justify the killings.
By Tom Peters, 10 November 2012
The disaster was the outcome of the decades-long assault on the jobs, conditions and rights of workers aimed at boosting “international competitiveness.”
By Chris Marsden, 5 November 2012
The South African Police Service is waging a brutal campaign of intimidation facilitated by the suffocation of strikes in the mining sector by the COSATU.
By Julie Hyland, 29 October 2012
Saturday’s rally by South Africa’s COSATU union federation and the National Union of Mineworkers only exposed the hostility of broad masses of workers toward the official unions.
By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012
Mass sackings, police intimidation and brutality are being employed in an effort to bring the wave of strikes in South Africa’s mines to a close.
By Chris Marsden, 26 October 2012
Four miners who testified Tuesday before the Farlam Commission into the Marikana massacre were immediately arrested by police. They are to be charged with murder.
By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2012
Tens of thousands of South African workers remain in struggle and a new strike by platinum miners at Lonmin’s operation in Marikana delivered a blow to efforts to stem the working class upsurge.
By Chris Marsden, 20 October 2012
The main instruments of Zuma and the African National Congress for suppressing the mass strike movement are the Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers.
By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2012
Tens of thousands of South Africa miners remain on strike in wildcat action, following a breakdown in talks between trade unions and management.
By Robert Stevens, 11 October 2012
In the face of a growing wave of walkouts by workers across South Africa, mining companies are announcing mass layoffs of striking employees.
By Eric Graham, 9 October 2012
South Africa’s miners are among the workers worst affected by silicosis in the world.
By Bill Van Auken, 6 October 2012
Anglo American Platinum fired 12,000 striking South African miners Friday as the transnational corporations, the ANC government and the COSATU union federation sought to quell a growing wave of wildcat strikes.
By Eric Graham, 2 October 2012
In the midst of an escalating wave of wildcat strike action by miners, South Africa’s biggest trade union federation, COSATU, convened its 11th national congress.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 September 2012
A roof collapse in a Tennessee mine early Wednesday claimed the life of a Harlan, Kentucky, miner.
By Chris Marsden, 28 September 2012
The strike wave that began at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine is now engulfing South Africa’s platinum, gold and coal mining industries and has spread to transport and other sectors.
By Julie Hyland, 22 September 2012
As miners at the Lonmin platinum producer in Marikana returned to work Thursday, President Jacob Zuma authorised the domestic deployment of the military to deal with continued unrest in the mining sector.
By Samuel Davidson, 21 September 2012
In making the announcement, the company stated that it plans to shift production from less profitable thermal coal to the more profitable metallurgical coal.
By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 21 September 2012
It took three weeks for France’s New Anti-capitalist Party to write on the massacre of 34 South African miners on August 16 at the Marikana mine.
By Julie Hyland, 20 September 2012
The massacre of striking South African platinum miners and the spreading confrontation between miners and the ANC regime have exposed the reactionary character of racial and nationalist politics.