Mining Workers Protest in Mauritania
Filed Under: Opinion, Politics | Posted: 08/01/2012 at 5:33PM
Comments | Region: Mauritania
By Thalia Rahme
The northern Mauritanian cities of Zouerat  and Nouadhibou  are witnessing protests by workers who are not registered. More than 2,300 workers are protesting in the mining city of Zouerat, which has led to complete paralysis of some ten National Mining and Industrial Company sites (SNIM  [fr]) in addition to disrupting work in other locations.
The workers are demanding to benefit from the wage increase granted recently by SNIM to its employees; they are also asking for social security, in addition to the right to be given work priority for being Mauritanian citizens, compared to foreign workers from the neighboring states.
New kind of slavery
Such workers, known as “journalia” workers in the local dialect, are also asking for a direct contract with SNIM rather than contracts with outsourcing companies, which only pay 40 per cent of the SNIM wages to every laborer, something they consider human trafficking and a new kind of slavery.
Protesters also threatened to hold a march from Zouerat to Nouakchott, similar to the one organized by Nouadhibou  activists earlier. In Nouadhibou, “journalia” workers are also staging a protest against what they call human trafficking; about 1,000 laborers are threatening to halt work and engage in an open strike.
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Mauritanian blogger Alddedd Wald Al Sheik  [ar] also wrote about this issue:
Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø´ÙƒÙ„Ø© ØªØ¹ÙˆØ¯ Ø¥Ù„ÙŠ Ø¯ÙØ¹ Ø§Ù„Ø´Ø±ÙƒØ© Ù„Ø±ÙˆØ§ØªØ¨ Ù…Ø¶Ø§Ø¹ÙØ© Ø£Ø±Ø¨Ø¹ Ù…Ø±Ø§Øª Ø¥Ø¶Ø§ÙØ© Ø¥Ù„ÙŠ Ø²ÙŠØ§Ø¯Ø© Ù†Ø³Ø¨ÙŠØ© Ù„Ø±ÙˆØ§ØªØ¨ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø±Ø³Ù…ÙŠÙŠÙ† Ø¨ÙŠÙ†Ù…Ø§ ØªØ¬Ø§Ù‡Ù„Øª Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ù„” Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ø±Ù†Ø§Ù„ÙŠØ© “ÙˆÙ‡ÙŠ ØØ³Ø¨ Ø§Ù„Ù†Ù‚Ø§Ø¨ÙŠÙŠÙ† Ø³Ø§Ø¨Ù‚Ø© Ø®Ø·ÙŠØ±Ø© ÙˆÙ‚Ø¯ ØªØ¤Ø¯ÙŠ Ø¥Ù„ÙŠ Ø§Ù†ÙØ¬Ø§Ø± Ø§Ù„ÙˆØ¶Ø¹ Ø¯Ø§Ø®Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø´Ø±ÙƒØ©.
Ahmed Haymoudane  [ar] denounces the absence of any intention to solve the crisis by the concerned company:
- Ø¥ØµØ±Ø§Ø± Ø´Ø±ÙƒØ© “Ø§Ø³Ù†ÙŠÙ…” Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ù…ÙˆØ§ØµÙ„Ø© ÙÙŠ Ø§Ø³ØªØºÙ„Ø§Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ù…ÙˆØ±ÙŠØªØ§Ù†ÙŠÙŠÙ† ÙÙŠ Ù…Ø´Ù‡Ø¯ ÙŠØ¹ÙŠØ¯ Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ø£Ø°Ù‡Ø§Ù† Ù‚ØµØµ Ø§Ø³ØªØºÙ„Ø§Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø£ÙØ§Ø±Ù‚Ø© ÙÙŠ Ù…Ø²Ø§Ø±Ø¹ Ù‚ØµØ¨ Ø§Ù„Ø³ÙƒØ± ÙÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ù‚Ø§Ø±Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø£Ù…Ø±ÙŠÙƒÙŠØ© ÙÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ù‚Ø±ÙˆÙ† Ø§Ù„Ø¨Ø§Ø¦Ø¯Ø©Ø›
- Ø¥ØµØ±Ø§Ø± Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ù„ Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø¶ÙŠ Ù‚Ø¯Ù…Ø§ ÙÙŠ Ø¥Ø¶Ø±Ø§Ø¨Ù‡Ù… Ø§Ù„Ø³Ù„Ù…ÙŠ ÙˆØ¹Ø¯Ù… Ø§Ù„Ø®Ø¶ÙˆØ¹ Ù„Ù„Ø¶ØºÙˆØ· Ø§Ù„ØªÙŠ ØªÙ…Ø§Ø±Ø³Ù‡Ø§ Ø§Ù„Ø´Ø±ÙƒØ© Ø¶Ø¯Ù‡Ù… Ù…Ù† Ø®Ù„Ø§Ù„ ØªÙ‡Ø¯ÙŠØ¯Ù‡Ø§ Ù„Ù‡Ù… Ø¨ØªØ¹ÙˆÙŠØ¶Ù‡Ù… Ø¨Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ù…Ø§Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø£Ø¬Ø§Ù†Ø¨.
- Ø¥ØµØ±Ø§Ø± Ø§Ù„Ø³Ù„Ø·Ø§Øª Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ Ø¥Ø³ÙƒØ§Øª ÙƒÙ„ Ù…Ù† ÙŠØµØ¯Ø Ù…Ø·Ø§Ù„Ø¨Ø§ Ø¨ØÙ‚Ù‡ ÙÙŠ Ù‡Ø°Ø§ Ø§Ù„ÙˆØ·Ù† ØØªÙ‰ Ù„Ø§ ØªÙ†ØªØ´Ø± Ø¹Ø¯ÙˆÙ‰ Ø§Ù„Ø«ÙˆØ±Ø© ÙˆØªØ®Ø±Ø¬ Ø§Ù„Ø£ÙˆØ¶Ø§Ø¹ Ø¹Ù† Ø³ÙŠØ·Ø±ØªÙ‡Ø§.
There are no signs of solutions so far and that is due to:
- The insistence of SNIM to continue exploiting Mauritanian workers in a way that brings back the memory of African workers exploitation in sugarcane fields in Africa in previous times.
- The insistence of the workers to go on with their strike and not bow to pressures applied by the company against them threatening to replace them with foreign workers.
- The insistence of authorities to shut up anyone who raises his voice demanding his rights in the country so that the revolution contagion doesn’t spread and things don’t get out control.
Alddedd Wald Al Sheikh tweets as well:
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/08/01/mauritania-protests-in-the-north-against-human-trafficking/