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7,000 strike at S.Africa’s restive Marikana mine

Around 7,000 workers at Lonmin’s strike-torn Marikana mine in South Africa, where police shot dead over 34 people in clashes last year, briefly went on strike in a union dispute early Tuesday, the company said.

“This morning… on the eastern side four shafts didn’t go underground,” said Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey.

“It’s about 7,000 people across the four shafts,” she told AFP.

“They’ve all returned to work and they’ve gone underground.”

She confirmed the stoppage was over a union dispute between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

“They (AMCU workers) wanted to be recognised as the new majority union and the NUM offices shut,” she said.

Police shot dead 34 in violent clashes at the mine north west of Johannesburg last August.

Several people were killed in subsequent clashes, which have been attributed to a turf war between the more established NUM and its challenger AMCU.