40 strikers arrested at s africa\s kumba iron mine
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
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40 strikers arrested at S Africa\'s Kumba iron mine

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 40 strikers arrested at S Africa\'s Kumba iron mine

Johannesburg - AFP

South African police in a pre-dawn raid on Tuesday arrested 40 striking workers who had seized equipment worth millions of dollars from Anglo American\'s Kumba Iron Ore subsidiary, a spokesman said. They were part of nearly 300 workers that Kumba sacked on Monday following an illegal strike they launched nearly two weeks ago at its Sishen mine in Northern Cape province. \"At about three o\'clock (0100 GMT) this morning, we entered the mine premises where the illegal strikers were keeping the mine equipment in their possession. We managed to arrest about 40 of them,\" Lieutenant Colonel Hendrik Swart, police spokesman for Northern Cape, told AFP. Sishen confirmed the workers had been removed. \"The illegal occupation of the company\'s Sishen mine has been brought to an end by the police who removed the strikers in the early hours of the morning,\" the company said in a statement. Police regained possession of and handed over the heavy mining equipment -- which included 88 haul trucks -- the striking workers had seized since the strike started on 3 October. The miners had threatened to destroy the equipment if a pay increase of 15,000 rand ($1,715, 1,319 euros) for all workers, above what they already earn, had not been met. Those arrested will face contempt of court charges after they ignored a Labour Court order to vacate the mine and release equipment worth 3.3 billion rand ($375 million, 290 million euros), police said. The Labour Court had also ordered that the miners immediately vacate Kumba\'s premises, release the equipment, and not come within 500 metres (546.8 yards) of the firm\'s property. Situated in South Africa\'s Northern Cape, Sishen is Anglo American-owned Kumba\'s flagship plant and is one of the world\'s largest open-pit mines, according to the company\'s website. The strike has paralysed the mine\'s around-the-clock operations since the start of October with daily production losses of about 120,000 tonnes. South Africa has been in the grips of a wave of wildcat mining strikes that have spiralled out of the platinum sector into other industries including gold.

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