Workers, Chamber to protest over safety

[] — THOUSANDS of mine, construction and energy workers are expected to down tools throughout the country on Tuesday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.

The stayaway would be to remember those who had died in the line of duty and to protest about workplace safety, NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said on Monday.

“We expect 400,000 workers to participate and a total shutdown of the economy.

“A resolution to observe a day of mourning was taken by the NUM earlier in the year… to demand the safety of its members.”

Seshoka said workers would also march to the Chamber of Mines, Eskom, the SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, and the departments of labour and mineral resources.

They would hand over memoranda highlighting an increasing number of deaths in these industries. Workers were expected to gather at the corner of Marshall and Nugget streets in Johannesburg at 9:00 on Tuesday.

“To date, over 100 workers died in the mining industry alone,” said Seshoka.

“Thousands are injured every year. Over 50 workers are electrocuted every six months whilst many others die in the construction sector due to many factors including poor scaffoldings,” he said.

Chamber of Mines’ acting chief executive Frans Barker said the body would protest with NUM over the issue.

“…management and workers have to be seen to take a shared and cooperative responsibility for health and safety in the workplace,” Barker said.