One of the comments circulated on Internet on the South African shooting of miners mentions that “In South Africa the $1500 a month they were asking for would put them in a higher income bracket than most workers with a college degree”. The person who raised this point obviously feel why should a mine worker get a decent wage.
Of course! A decent salary is only for those with a college degree! Why should an ordinary mine worker enjoy a better wage? He is just doing physical work deep underground for hours and hours – when compared to those with a college degree working in an air-conditioned room in-front of a computer! A mine worker’s kids should dare to dream only to become a mine worker, and should not aspire for better wages for parents so that they could go to college someday! Class-system at its best!!
My reply to above observation is, “Learn to respect the worker and work – whatever work it is”. Just having a college degree does not give one wisdom and a passport to a wealthy peaceful life, totally ignoring suffering of human beings all around you. One could close eyes and live, but not for ever. The oppressed will awake and question the society. At that time, the peaceful life of “college degree owners” will get disturbed!!
The same individual also mentioned that “They (miners) should definitely get an increase, but up to around $800” . This is the voice of capitalism at its best. Give workers just enough money to survive, but not enough to take them out of their horrible living conditions. Because, if you offer more money, they will get educated and soon there will be none to work on mines!
The system is the culprit and it needs change – URGENTLY
No one becomes a mine worker by choice. Circumstances make them one. At least appreciate their hard work, and give them a chance, so that the next generation could progress a bit better.
Coming back to the murders of these poor workers – it is always an excuse of those who kill, to say that they attacked in self-defence.
Mass murderers of 21st era – Tony Blair and George Bush – used the very same excuse to attack Iraq by saying lies on WMDs.
What else should those workers – who protest and strike for basic living standards – do when confronted by armed police brandishing grenades and guns? Should they keep quiet, go back to work – and repent by doing another 12 hours shift?
Let me say again, oppressed workers will rise anywhere and everywhere they are exploited – and when cornered, don’t expect them to follow the path of Gandhi’s non-violence.