Union violence escalates in South Africa

June 6, 2016

Production at a platinum mine in South Africa was suspended after a worker was stabbed to death during a fight between members of two different unions.

Reuters reported that the tensions have been high at South Africa's Northam Platinum Mine between the unions after another worker had been shot to death on June 5. A fight broke out On June 6 leaving one worked dead from stab wounds.

The mine produces about 300,000 ounces of platinum a year, according to Northam's website. It was not immediately clear when production would resume.

The platinum belt - in which the Zondereinde Mine is located - has been the battlefield for a membership turf war between the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

NUM officials said the employee killed on June 5 was a member of their union. An AMCU official said the worker killed on June 6 belonged to the union.

The NUM represents a majority of the worker's at the mine.

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa told Reuters, “the situation is tense, its not as normal as one would hope.”
 

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