Mozambique: Workers protest mining sales by reactionary government

Enrico Dalmas (A Nova Democracia) 23 May 2022

Hundreds of workers in the town of Moatize, tete province, central Mozambique, have been on strike and have been protesting for more than two weeks against mining company Vale. The protest rejects the sale, by the old Mozambican state, of the brazilian company's assets to the Indian company Vulcan Resources. Left at random after the process, workers demand clarification about the sale of the company and its labor situation.

Por sua vez, a Vale, já conhecida tanto pelos crimes contra os moradores das regiões em que atua, quanto por negligenciar suas dívidas com as massas (assim como faz no Brasil), busca transferir a culpa dos crimes para o governo reacionário por sua falta de fiscalização. Nesta disputa, o povo fica à deriva enquanto o velho Estado moçambicano e a terrorista Vale, aliados somente quando os interessa, se mostram, ambos, inimigos do povo. The coal mine, which has belonged to Vale since 2007, had its operations started in 2011. In late April 2022, in a deal that was attended by the Mozambican government, the mining company sold the Moatize mine for US$270 million to the Indian company Vulcan Resources, which is part of the Jindal Group conglomerate and already operates mining in Tete province.

Not warned and isolated from the entire negotiation process, the workers of the mine until then controlled by Vale demand explanations about the sale and about their labor situation with the new company. The workers denounce that they did not know anyone from the Indian company, as well as do not know the new requirements and labor conditions that will be inserted, if they all will be inserted.

The workers in struggle also condemn the silence of the opportunistic government of Filipe Nyusi, president since 2015 by the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), which despite having participated in the negotiations, said nothing to the workers. Frelimo is the organization that carried out Mozambique's war of independence from the yoke of colonialism Portuguese, achieving success in June 1975. Formed as a front of revolutionary classes (proletariat, peasantry, small urban bourgeoisie and middle rural and urban owners, the genuinely national bourgeoisie, and even landowners and large bourgeois sectors) that coalesced around revolutionary nationalism, was strongly influenced by Marxism and the Russian and Chinese revolution and began the armed struggle in 1965.

However, given the absence of proletarian direction, due to the lack of a revolutionary proletariat party, it was led from a regime of popular democracy to a bureaucratic-landowner regime, based on an economy of bureaucratic capitalism, after the death of Samora Machel, joining all anti-communist hysteria with the end of the social-imperialist Soviet Union.

They also denounce vale's complete abandonment of miners, since the Brazilian company did not terminate contracts and, as a consequence, did not comply with any requirement of this closure. In fury at the situation, a labor representative told press monopoly DW, on condition of anonymity: "And even Vale, which owns this mine, never fired us, never came to say anything about this sale. So we as workers, we don't think it's right. Looks like they want to sell us how they sold the machines, the land and how they sold the coal. We're not coal."

Against the attacks, workers declared a strike in the operations of the mine since May 9 and protest daily in the search for a participation in the negotiation. "The problem is that no one has come to negotiate anything with us and we are entitled to negotiate whether or not we want to stay with the new employer, and not be forced to do something we don't want to do," said a worker at press monopoly VOA Portuguese.

Despite Vulcan Resources' statement that it seeks to initiate contact with workers and continue coal exploration in Moatize, miners continue to struggle with abandonment and uncertainty of labor conditions.

Since 2009, when the killing company Vale was already preparing to start mining in Moatize, the mining company has been promoting a total destruction of the living conditions of the region's peasants. According to an article in The Other Words magazine, Vale removed more than 3,000 peasant families from their original lands and resettled them in regions with poor soils, lack of access to rivers and markets and with serious infrastructure problems, such as lack of basic sanitation, electricity and security in the structures of homes.

In addition to expelling the peasants from their lands, Vale destroyed several rivers in the region, either by pollution, landfill or redirection of rivers to the operation of the mine. The potters of the region were also victims of the company, since in addition to losing access to rivers, they began to live under constant clouds of pollution.

As a result of its atrocities against the people, Vale S.A. was sentenced in 2021 by the Justice of Mozambique to pay compensation of 14 million and 400,000 meticais (Mozambican currency) to 48 peasants from Moatize (about 1 million reais). Vale in Mozambique acts as an intermediary, or minor partner, of imperialist financial capital. It is a monopolistic capitalist company of the buyer fraction of the great Brazilian bourgeoisie, with direct links with the monopolistic imperialist capital mainly Yankee.

In turn, Vale, already known both for the crimes against the residents of the regions in which it operates, and for neglecting its debts to the masses (as it does in Brazil), seeks to shift the blame for the crimes to the reactionary government for its lack of supervision. In this dispute, the people are adrift while the old Mozambican state and the terrorist Vale, allies only when they are interested, both are enemies of the people.


Links Search