Trade unionists

pic8730. Solidarity with South African and Namibian miners

There was widespread support among British trade unionists for striking miners in South Africa and Namibia in September 1987. AAM supporters and the British NUM held daily protests outside the London headquarters of Anglo-American, Consolidated Goldfields and other South African mining conglomerates. Over £75,000 was raised for the miners. In the picture Labour MPs Tony Banks and Jeremy Corbyn hold leaflets that the police stopped them distributing outside the offices of the Anglo-American Corporation.

pic8728. Miners march in Nottingham

British miners and other local trade unionists marched through Nottingham to protest against the import of South African coal by local company Burnett & Hallamshire.

nam28. ‘Free Jason Angula’

Jason Angula, Labour Secretary of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), was detained without trial in October 1987. British civil service unions campaigned for his release, together with the Joint Campaign Against the Repression of Trade Unionists. Angula was released at the end of 1988.

pic8803. ‘Stop Repression of Trade Unionists’

The apartheid government escalated its repression of trade unionists in 1988 – four trade union leaders were sentenced to death and hundreds were detained. In response the AAM and SATIS (Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society) launched a campaign to defend trade unionists in South Africa and Namibia. It was launched at a demonstration outside the South African Embassy on 1 February 1988 on the day the trial of Moses Mayekiso, General Secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) reopened in Johannesburg.

tu32. ‘Apartheid Attacks Trade Unions’

In February 1988 the AAM Trade Union Committee and Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) launched a Joint Campaign against the Repression of Trade Unionists in South Africa and Namibia. The campaign was a response to the increased repression of trade unionists by the apartheid regime. Four trade union leaders were sentenced to death and hundreds were detained. This leaflet publicised a demonstration at the South African Embassy, attended by over 200 trade unionists.

tu33. ‘Free Oscar Mpetha!’

Oscar Mpetha was a South African trade union leader and founder member of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). In 1980 he was arrested after taking part in protests in Nyanga, Cape Town, in which two people were killed. After a long trial he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and eventually released in 1989 soon after his 80th birthday. This leaflet was produced by the AAM and the British Transport and General Workers Union.

pic8815. ‘Boycott Shell’

Hammersmith and Fulham AA Group members held a year-long weekly picket of this Shell garage on Fulham Road in west London. The photograph shows health workers from Charing Cross Hospital at the protest. On 1 March 1987 the AAM launched a boycott of Shell as part of an international campaign organised jointly with groups in the USA and the Netherlands. Shell was joint owner of one of South Africa’s biggest oil refineries and a lead company in its coalmining and petrochemicals industries.