25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

May 6, 2019

May 9, 1994

NORTHAM, South Africa — “Our strike is 100 percent effective, our members are determined to make the company meet our most important demands,” stated Joseph Moloke, branch chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers at Gold Fields Northam Platinum mine.

The 7,500 miners here are demanding an immediate wage increase of 3 percent, which was originally due in July 1993; recognition of the NUM; checkoff facilities where the union can sign up new members; and no company reprisals against the strikers. Gold Fields has not agreed to any of the demands.

On March 25 more than 5,000 Northam miners marched to the company offices with a memorandum listing a dozen demands. They gave the company seven days to respond. The company refused and the workers went on strike a month later.

May 9, 1969

At Ft. Jackson, S.C., a group called GIs United Against the War in Vietnam has proved to be a colossal “pain in the brass.” The emergence of a second GIs United, this time at Ft. Bragg, N.C., may be not just another pain but a grim portent for the military of things to come.

“Standing on the shoulders of Ft. Jackson” -— that is the way soldiers at Ft. Bragg describe their antiwar group. One of the first projects of the new GIs United was the circulation of a petition addressed to the Ft. Jackson commander, Gen. Hollingsworth, expressing the support of the Ft. Bragg enlisted men for their brothers at Ft. Jackson and insisting that the request for a legal on-base meeting be granted.

Last week they adopted the Ft. Jackson “Statement of Aims” with a few additions reflecting the special antiwar commitment of Vietnam returnees.

May 6, 1944

While Roosevelt is mouthing about an export trade for the “four freedoms,” tens of thousands of agricultural workers in California’s sunny valleys continue their intolerable existence under the brutal terror maintained by the corporation-financed “Association Farmers.”

The La Follette Senate Civil Liberties Committees two weeks ago released a report on activities of the “Associated Farmers” of California which reads like a page out of the Black Book of Hitlerism, with special American trimmings.

“Its record,” charges the Senate committee, “is one of conspiracy — developed on a far-flung scale, covering an entire region. That conspiracy, designed to prevent the exercise of their civil liberties by oppressed wage laborers, was executed ruthlessly with every device of repression that anti-unionism could muster.”