Action: From the trenches

Once Iscor won the interdict and locked out its workforce, there were some ugly moments as striking workers clashed with police. Paulina Mohale and Mirriam Makhalemele, Numsa administrators in the Western Transvaal region were there to witness it.

5 June 2003"South gate, Vanderbijlpark:Soldiers and police were deployed with seven police vans and two caspers. Workers are denied entrance and their clock cards are suspended.

This gate is heavily protected because management uses it. Workers are singing freedom songs and dancing carrying posters saying: "Rick are you afraid to send yourself, you send soldiers and police to kill us", and "Away with police inside Iscor".

Iscor, Vereeniging Management has installed cameras that make it difficult for our members to approach scab labourers who are transported with police vans or other cars inside. Striking workers fear that management will sue them individually if they damage the property or beat up scabs. They also say this morning that management has hired 20 scabs on contract.

9 June 2003"Comrade PM Benjane was shot at the waist. Cde Lacoste had to defend himself after a white policeman hit him with his fist, his left hand is injured. At 12h34, the 'red ants' arrive, heavily armed with electric sticks. It is rumoured that police complained to management about the SANDF's peaceful observation, that they make their life difficult because they do not shoot at protesters, so management decided that 'red ants' who do not compromise, will work like they did last year at KwaMasiza.Young whites under 20 years of age are hired as temporary workers. At Iscor Vanderbijlpark rumours are that they refused to work at the coke ovens claiming it is very hot, hot, hot, hot!


Numsa News