JOHANNESBURG, March 20 Seven striking workers at
Shanduka Coal's Graspan colliery in South Africa were admitted
to hospital and nine were arrested on Tuesday after police fired
rubber bullets during clashes with the miners, the company and
police said on Wednesday.
Operations at Graspan remain suspended following a wildcat
protest by some 250 employees, which started on Tuesday.
"The police dispersed the striking employees, who were on
mine premises illegally, had seized mine equipment, and were
refusing to leave peacefully," Shanduka Coal, partly owned by
global commodity trader Glencore, said in a statement.
"The industrial action was unlawful, unprotected and in
breach of the employees' contracts of employment."
Police said workers refused to disperse after handing over a
notice to management detailing their demands.
Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, police spokesman for Mpumalanga
province, said some of the striking workers charged the police
lines with heavy earth-moving equipment.
"That is when the police used rubber bullets to disperse the
crowd," he said.
The strike follows illegal walkouts at five collieries owned
by diversified mining company Exxaro, which started two
weeks ago over bonus payments.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Sherilee Lakmidas; Editing by