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South Africa braces for one of the largest labour strikes over wages in the country’s history | Al Jazeera 

Around 220,000 engineering and metal workers belonging to South Africa’s biggest trade union have launched an indefinite strike over wages.

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the country’s largest labour union, said they would not relent on their demand for a 15 percent wage increase. On Tuesday, NUMSA and other smaller unions marched in several cities, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Though there were no reports of violence, there were incidents of vandalism and complaints of intimidation.

Once a stanch ally of the ANC ruling party, NUMSA withdrew support for Jacob Zuma’s party during the presidential elections in May, arguing for a new party dedicated to the poor. The strike came just days after workers in the platinum mine industry ended a five month strike where NUMSA sent a message of congratulations to the “courageous mineworkers for securing a decisive and historic settlement in the platinum belt”.

"This settlement is not only a victory for mineworkers, but for workers in South Africa as a whole," the statement read.

(Photo Credit: Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera)

Don’t you know that slavery was outlawed?”
“No,” the guard said, “you’re wrong. Slavery was outlawed with the exception of prisons. Slavery is legal in prisons.”
I looked it up and sure enough, she was right. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Well, that explained a lot of things. That explained why jails and prisons all over the country are filled to the brim with Black and Third World people, why so many Black people can’t find a job on the streets and are forced to survive the best way they know how. Once you’re in prison, there are plenty of jobs, and, if you don’t want to work, they beat you up and throw you in a hole. If every state had to pay workers to do the jobs prisoners are forced to do, the salaries would amount to billions… Prisons are a profitable business. They are a way of legally perpetuating slavery. In every state more and more prisons are being built and even more are on the drawing board. Who are they for? They certainly aren’t planning to put white people in them. Prisons are part of this government’s genocidal war against Black and Third World people
Assata Shakur’s autobiography (via the-uncensored-she)
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