Notwithstanding that the use of contract workers (an international practice) for labour solutions is exploitative and probably offensive (this isn’t about to be a treatise on modern labour relations), South Africa’s miners should just consider what the consequences would be, for them and probably the nation as a whole (do they care?) of bringing the mining sector to its knees. No work, no food, no rent, probably more bloodshed and activism bordering on insurrection (when does industrial action become insurrection?).
It seems obvious that that is exactly the outcome some elements are hoping for. We at the Direct Democracy Forum believe that this is where industrial action crosses the line to insurrection and an open invitation for government intervention, where the odds are stacked against the miners and against society and democracy as a whole.
South African mines should also consider what this means. They actually should hang their collective heads in shame at the living conditions of some of their workers. Admittedly, some of it is personal choice, some workers prefer to remit the bulk of their salaries to distant families, but surely we can do better?
This is a time for cool heads and reassessment of positions and attitudes on the part of all the players. Sadly, track histories suggest that this may not be the case.