Tomorrow, November 19, marks the 5th aniversary of the deaths of 29 mine workers at Pike River.

These workers didn’t die in one of those freak tragic accidents that just happens and nothing much could have stopped it.

Their deaths were the result of a combination of dangerous conditions and poor safety.  Neither National (who were the government at the time) nor Labour (who were in power when the mine was created and who gave it the go ahead) nor the EPMU (whose leader was current Labour Party leader Andrew Little, who supported the mine and OKed its safety) come out of this well.

National would rather the whole thing was brushed under the carpet, while Labour and the EPMU leadership would prefer all the blame was placed on National.

There should have been a major, national campaign around the Pike River deaths.  There wasn’t because Key moved adroitly to defuse the issue and kill it with sympathy, while both Labour and the CTU had no interest in such a public campaign because it would lead to awkward questions about their own duplicity.

What happened at Pike River indicates the urgent need for workers to take control of on-the-job safety.  It also indicates the wider need for a new working class movement.  One based on the actual needs of workers, rather than career politicians and company profits.  And that means, too, no union links with or support for capitalist parties like Labour.  And it means the election and right of recall in relation to all union officials.

Please circulate the links to the articles below as widely as possible.

And, if you’re interested in the idea of building a working class current across the labour movement and the wider working class – most workers not being unionised – please get in touch with us.

Below are articles about the Pike River explosions that killed 29 miners and the subsequent manoeuvrings by the company, the government and the EPMU leaders around the issue. They’re in chronological order, starting with the first article and ending with the most recent:

Pike River Blues https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/pike-river-blues/
Pike River lessons https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/pike-river-lessons/
Pike River: ‘cashflow’ versus workers’ safety https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/pike-river-cashflow-versus-workers-safety/
Pike River company’s safety breaches killed 29 workers – it’s official https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/pike-river-company-found-guilty-of-safety-breaches/
What’s the latest at Pike River? https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/whats-the-latest-at-pike-river/
Pike River third anniversary https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/pike-river-third-anniversary/
Pike River injustice: taking up Helen Kelly’s offer https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/pike-river-injustice-taking-up-helen-kellys-offer/
Pike River – the final cover-up? https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/pike-river-the-final-cover-up/

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Comments
  1. Timur says:

    “And, if you’re interested in the idea of building a working class current across the labour movement and the wider working class – most workers not being unionised – please get in touch with us.” – interested.

  2. Admin says:

    You can write to us at redlinemarxists@gmail.com

    Tell us who you are and where you are and what political activity you are or have been involved in.