Sunday, December 08, 2019

Rhodesian colour bar (1960)

The News in Review column from the December 1960 issue of the Socialist Standard

The business interests of the Rhodesian Federation are making slow but steady progress in their attempt to build up a system free from colour bars, and from the inconveniences these cause in trade and industry. In the Northern Rhodesian copper mines, for example, the owners have long wanted to be able to call on the great reserve of local African labour for all the jobs in the mines, instead of having many of them reserved for Europeans. The resistance of the white miners to these proposals led to a long strike by the Europeans in 1958. But after a year's negotiation between the European miners’ union and six of the mining companies, the latter have at last persuaded the whites to allow at least all the unskilled jobs to be done by Africans. It is significant that the African mineworkers' union, although it gave a modified welcome to the agreement, took no part in the discussions: it was the owners who argued the case against the colour bar.

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