Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Luxor workers: ‘After seeing one of our comrades lost his eye, we cried like babies’

Workers at Luxor Paints in Jet Park, Boksburg say they will not back down, despite the alleged violent attacks on them during protracted strike action at the plant.

In a statement released on Monday, worker representatives claimed one worker lost an eye and 19 others were hospitalised after being shot with rubber bullets by private security while on a peaceful protected strike.

The protected strike, which began on February 26, was called by the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) and supported by the Simunye Workers Forum. It concerned longstanding demands for medical aid, long service allowance and housing allowance and was attended by 200 workers.

Despite the strike being peaceful, Luxor Paints allegedly called in a private security company named the National Strike Intervention Union, said the statement.

“They wore camouflage uniforms, carried pump guns and had armoured vehicles, including a hippos and two guards carried knives,” said the statement. “At 9am, while the workers were standing and singing in front of Luxor Paints’ main entrance, without warning, they opened fire on a group of striking workers.”

On March 5, as the strike continued, private security shot at workers again — resulting in one worker losing an eye, the statement reads.

“After seeing one of our comrades lost his eye, we cried like babies while the company was just looking at us,” said Giwusa member Ndimphiwe Nozibele.

A representative speaking on behalf of Luxor Paints told the Mail & Guardian the strike has not been peaceful by their estimation.

“On the day in question, as with the days prior thereto, striking workers carried stones, sticks and other weapons and attacked several vehicles of Luxor Paints and its labour broker,” said Luxor Paint’s representative.

Luxor Paints said they had to engage additional security “to ensure the safety of its employees and hired labour”.

Luxor Paints said while the company acknowledges the rights of striking workers to demonstrate peacefully, it is not possible for it to continue to engage the union at present while it is held to ransom by “lawless employees”.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against the...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Micro-hydropower lights up an Eastern Cape village

There is hidden potential for small hydropower plants in South Africa

More top stories

Pandemic accelerates decline of printed news, but trust in media...

Covid-19 has forced newsrooms to find new business models, but the public has turned to the news more in the last year

Gigaba says it was ‘an unfortunate coincidence’ SOEs were captured...

The former public enterprises minister says he was deliberately removed from state companies' dealings and could not have learned of the looting

SIU freezes R22-million in Digital Vibes accounts

The Special Investigating Unit said it would ask the tribunal to declare the health department’s contract with the company unlawful

Life-saving free train travel offered to domestic abuse victims in...

A pioneering railway scheme in the UK is helping domestic violence victims to escape their abusers by providing them with free travel to reach refuge
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×