num says: free valentin urusov!

This article appeared in The Miner, December 2009, page 5

The National Union of Mineworkers national officials are supporting an international campaign for the release of Valentin Urusov, a Russian miner framed up and imprisoned after recruiting workmates to a union.

Ian Lavery, NUM President, has written to Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian President, and urged him to intervene to get Urusov freed from jail. Urusov, an employee of Alrosa, a diamond mining company, is serving six years’ hard labour for an obviously fabricated offence (possession of drugs). Urusov was singled out for attention after an industrial dispute in July last year at Alrosa’s mine in Udachny, in Yakutiya, eastern Siberia. Continue reading “num says: free valentin urusov!”

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70,000 strike for 13% pay rise at world cup stadium sites

This week 70,000 workers started an indefinite strike action on the sites of the stadiums being built for the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa. These construction workers are organised by the country’s National Union of Mineworkers, and the union’s spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka spoke to The Commune about the action.

sowetostrike

What are conditions like on the World Cup stadium sites?

Working conditions are dangerous and workers are badly paid although the stadiums are making big profits for the owners of the means of production. Most only get 2,500 rand a month and some only 2,200. We want a 13% increase in the minimum wage for the workers on the sites. The building of the stadiums has been outsourced by the state to private companies, who have expensive contracts for the World Cup but exploit the workers. Continue reading “70,000 strike for 13% pay rise at world cup stadium sites”