Cosatu says they are mobilizing to intensify the DairyBelle strike, which will be linked with solidarity support of farmworkers in the Western Cape. Striking farmworkers. (Sapa)
Cape Town - DairyBelle is bracing for further strike action
following a seven-week-long protest that turned violent after workers demanded
an 18% wage hike.
"We believe another march is planned for next
week", the dairy producer said in a memorandum. It also called on the Food
and Allied Workers’ Union (Fawu) FAWU to
confirm that the march will be peaceful.
Damages to the dairy producer's Bloemhof plant in the North
West amounted to between R5m and R10m, while 11 workers were arrested and three
injured after protest action turned violent, reported Business Day.
DairyBelle is offering an increase of just more than 6% to
workers. Both parties have blamed each other for stalled negotiations.
"The feeling we get is that this particular union
believes the way to get what it wants is to deploy violence. It is difficult to
negotiate in this terrain," a DairyBelle senior representative, who wished
to remain anonymous, told the news agency on Friday.
The Congress of South African Trade Union in the North West
is preparing to intervene in the strike.
"We call on the employer to respond positively to the
workers’ demands by making a better offer, and withdrawing its attitude of
taking all the benefits that workers had for so many years, by Monday 14
January 2013 at the close of business," said Cosatu's provincial secretary
Solly Phetoe in a statement.
"Failure to do that will mean that the strike will be
intensified by Cosatu with support of the communities in the region," he
The strike started on December 3 and on December 31 company
vehicles were attacked with stones and petrol bombs.