MARIKANA, South Africa (AP) — Lonmin PLC says striking miners must return to work Monday or face being fired from the platinum mine where rivalry between unions exploded into violence that has killed 44 people in a week. Thirty-four were gunned down by police in one of the worst displays of state violence since apartheid ended in 1994.
About 3,000 rock-drill operators have been striking among the mine’s 28,000-strong labor force. Threats of violence kept many more away.
Strikers said Sunday they were not sure what they would do. One said he would return to work if others did so.
Lonmin fired all 9,000 workers when a similar dispute over union representation closed down its nearby Karee mine last year. Then it rehired most back.
South Africa produces about 75 percent of the world’s platinum.